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Data analysis for five research projects funded by the William Demant (previously Oticon) Foundation and carried out by SoundSkills and the University of Auckland has been completed and writing up the results for publication in scientific journals has begun. The projects investigated:

  • actual and optimal duration of use of remote microphone hearing aid systems by children with APD
  • actual and preferred listening levels of remote microphone hearing aid systems by children with APD
  • the effects of different levels of loudness on auditory memory, the auditory brainstem response and speech perception in quiet by children with APD
  • quantification of degree of disability for APD
  • phonological perception training for children with APD both with and without remote microphone hearing aid systems

A project currently in progress is examining whether it is possible to correct amblyaudia, suppression of input from one ear by the brain in difficult listening situations (the auditory equivalent of ‘lazy’ eye), by gradually varying the loudness difference between the weak ear and strong ear over a matter of weeks in children with APD wearing remote microphone hearing aid systems. Professor Suzanne Purdy at the University of Auckland has a number of APD research projects underway including measuring brain function in children with APD using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and benefits of auditory training for older adults with mild cognitive impairment. Auditory neuroscience colleagues in the Eisdell Moore Hearing and Balance Research Centre are measuring electrical brain responses to sounds in mice with autism traits to better understand the effects of autism on the central auditory nervous system of the brain.