Audiology Research Lab Virtual Tours
Three audiology faculty from the Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders guide viewers through virtual tours of their respective labs to discuss their research. \\
0:03 – Marc Brennan's Amplification & Perception Lab //
4:55 – Michelle Hughes' Cochlear Implant Research Lab //
7:29 – Amanda Rodriguez's The Concussion and Vestibular Evaluation Lab \\
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[00:00:06.090]Hi, I'm Dr. Brennan.
[00:00:07.740]I am the Director
[00:00:08.900]of the Amplification and Perception Laboratory here.
[00:00:12.760]I'm also the Director of the Audiology program.
[00:00:17.280]Today I'm gonna show you my lab.
[00:00:19.140]As you know, children and adults with hearing loss
[00:00:22.450]face a lot of communication difficulties.
[00:00:25.530]There are a high proportion of adults,
[00:00:28.690]upwards of 70% in the older category
[00:00:32.440]that have a hearing loss.
[00:00:34.300]And yet, most adults are not wearing their hearing aids
[00:00:38.240]or do not have hearing aids.
[00:00:40.930]So they're facing significant communication difficulties.
[00:00:45.550]Our goal is to try to improve
[00:00:48.560]the way that hearing aids work.
[00:00:50.450]I'm gonna show you some of the things that we're working on
[00:00:54.350]to try to do that.
[00:00:57.860]This is my lab.
[00:00:59.780]We've got a conference table here.
[00:01:02.030]This is where we meet and have meetings
[00:01:05.990]and talk about some of our latest findings.
[00:01:11.196]We have a TV monitor over here
[00:01:14.250]where we can display some of our latest results
[00:01:19.520]or communicate with our collaborators.
[00:01:24.080]We also, when we have participants,
[00:01:26.030]they come in here
[00:01:26.900]and this is where we explain the study to them
[00:01:30.630]and consent the participants.
[00:01:33.640]We've got a number of equipment over here.
[00:01:38.360]We've got a computer over here
[00:01:40.580]that we are gonna use in the future
[00:01:43.360]for a sound array that we are in the process of creating.
[00:01:48.690]We have a mannequin called Kemar
[00:01:53.190]and we can use Kemar to take measurements
[00:01:56.830]of how hearing aids respond.
[00:01:59.900]So we can play different types of sounds
[00:02:03.630]such as background noise
[00:02:05.180]and then measure how that would actually sound
[00:02:09.220]for an average adult
[00:02:11.110]so that we can try to better figure out
[00:02:13.400]what some of these hearing aids are doing.
[00:02:16.250]We've got a bunch of equipment over here
[00:02:19.710]such as calibration equipment
[00:02:24.103]and different cavities for measuring the output
[00:02:27.588]of hearing aids and headphones, et cetera.
[00:02:29.900]This is our set up for running the experiments.
[00:02:33.070]So this is our experimental computer.
[00:02:37.510]We also have an audiometer over here
[00:02:41.120]so that we can do hearing tests.
[00:02:45.120]And then I'll show you the booth.
[00:02:47.200]So we've got a ramp here
[00:02:48.840]so that people with a wheelchair can get into our booth.
[00:02:52.220]A Verifit and it's on a standing desk
[00:02:55.730]so that we can get it down low for kids
[00:02:57.660]or for testing kids
[00:02:58.890]or we can get it up a little bit higher for adults.
[00:03:02.300]We use this Verifit so that we can measure
[00:03:05.440]the output of hearing aids
[00:03:06.920]and then get it set appropriately
[00:03:08.730]for the participant's hearing loss.
[00:03:13.020]We've got some equipment over here
[00:03:15.690]for testing infants and young children using VRA.
[00:03:22.490]We've got a tymp machine over here
[00:03:24.590]so that we can check the status
[00:03:26.340]of the middle ear.
[00:03:28.260]Then we have a touchscreen over here.
[00:03:30.740]A lot of our tests, like for example,
[00:03:34.200]we're looking at how we can improve
[00:03:37.310]the ability of people to hear different sounds
[00:03:41.290]when they're in background noise,
[00:03:42.600]'cause that's a huge problem.
[00:03:44.910]Interestingly, a lot of the literature out there
[00:03:47.930]suggests that hearing aids make that ability worse
[00:03:51.020]and that's not what we wanna do,
[00:03:52.270]we wanna make it better.
[00:03:53.660]So we're looking at ways to try to make hearing aids better
[00:03:58.070]in terms of your ability to separate out different sounds
[00:04:01.220]when you're in that background noise.
[00:04:02.830]So what we do is participants come in here.
[00:04:05.490]They sit down here.
[00:04:07.250]We do a hearing test.
[00:04:09.670]Then we're playing different sounds to them
[00:04:12.960]typically over headphones
[00:04:14.520]'cause we're doing a lot of these studies
[00:04:17.250]with a hearing aid simulator.
[00:04:19.720]Using that allows us to precisely control
[00:04:22.920]the stimuli that we're presenting to them.
[00:04:26.320]Then we're presenting those sounds
[00:04:27.760]from different directions
[00:04:30.010]with the hearing aid simulator
[00:04:33.488]and the listener's task is to indicate
[00:04:36.380]if they hear a difference
[00:04:37.590]or where that sound is coming from.
[00:04:40.400]Then we're manipulating different settings
[00:04:42.320]to try to see if we can improve that ability.
[00:04:46.160]That's the Amplification and Perception Laboratory.
[00:04:49.430]Thank you for touring this facility with me.
[00:04:54.020]I hope that you will come here.
[00:04:59.000]Hi, I'm Dr. Michelle Hughes.
[00:05:01.030]I'm the Director of the Cochlear Implant Research Lab.
[00:05:04.400]We have quite a few projects going on here.
[00:05:07.290]My research is
[00:05:09.940]aimed at comparing some physiological measures
[00:05:13.990]with perceptual measures in cochlear implants.
[00:05:16.570]I also have another whole line of research
[00:05:19.270]that's targeted toward tele-practice with cochlear implants.
[00:05:24.110]Then we are currently working on developing
[00:05:26.670]some new projects where we are planning
[00:05:29.560]to develop a whole new speech perception test
[00:05:32.340]that's gonna be revolutionary.
[00:05:35.490]We are also embarking on a new study
[00:05:37.540]to look at the ototoxicity effects
[00:05:40.780]of illicit drug use and chronic alcohol use
[00:05:45.310]on the hearing and vestibular system.
[00:05:47.380]So I'll kinda show you around the lab a little bit.
[00:05:49.430]We've got our standard sound booth.
[00:05:52.920]If you can come on in here and follow me.
[00:05:56.110]We have our nice comfy recliner
[00:05:58.410]that is set up for evoked potentials testing
[00:06:01.700]so that our research participants
[00:06:05.110]can just sit there and relax
[00:06:06.970]while we test them.
[00:06:08.260]We've got equipment to do
[00:06:12.375]auditory brain stem response testing
[00:06:15.250]with either acoustic or electrical stimulation
[00:06:17.700]through a cochlear implant.
[00:06:19.760]They can sit and watch TV while we test them.
[00:06:22.770]We can make measurements of just the auditory nerve
[00:06:26.400]through the cochlear implant.
[00:06:28.660]Here we can have people sit
[00:06:29.990]and do speech perception testing.
[00:06:32.940]We're fully set up with an audiometer,
[00:06:35.560]tympanometer, just basic clinical testing.
[00:06:39.550]If we wanna head back out here,
[00:06:41.880]I'll show you a little bit more that we have going on.
[00:06:46.330]We've got standard audiometric equipment,
[00:06:49.900]audiometer, tymps and reflexes,
[00:06:52.560]and then we have all of our peripheral equipment
[00:06:56.050]for cochlear implant testing.
[00:06:59.940]We have conference space.
[00:07:02.936]We have a TV there that
[00:07:04.310]we can project computers to for lab meetings
[00:07:08.410]and have video conferencing capabilities.
[00:07:11.680]Basically we're set up to do pretty much any kind
[00:07:14.330]of audiological testing with or without cochlear implants.
[00:07:18.230]We're also doing a lot of testing now,
[00:07:21.390]some studies geared toward cognitive function
[00:07:24.550]in people with hearing loss and cochlear implants.
[00:07:27.150]So that's kind of exciting and new for us.
[00:07:33.170]Hello, my name is Amanda Rodriguez.
[00:07:34.850]I'm Assistant Professor
[00:07:35.910]of the Department of Education, Communication Disorders.
[00:07:38.770]My laboratory is the Concussion
[00:07:40.240]and Vestibular Evaluation lab
[00:07:41.570]or the CAVE lab.
[00:07:43.030]So the purpose of our laboratory
[00:07:44.560]is that we actually get to test
[00:07:45.860]student athletes here at Nebraska,
[00:07:47.980]pre and post concussion.
[00:07:49.280]After concussion, it's not uncommon
[00:07:50.980]for a student athlete to experience dizziness,
[00:07:53.100]imbalance or problems with their vision.
[00:07:55.250]So we actually go through a full battery
[00:07:57.260]of their baseline before they start athletic practice
[00:07:59.940]here at Nebraska.
[00:08:01.210]We assess their eyes, their inner ears
[00:08:02.990]and their balance function.
[00:08:04.310]One way that we do that is we use videonystagmography
[00:08:06.940]which is the use of these goggles here.
[00:08:08.680]They've got a camera
[00:08:09.530]and the camera is able
[00:08:10.450]to record a student athlete's eye movements
[00:08:12.640]while they do a series of tasks.
[00:08:14.290]For example, they would be sitting in this chair
[00:08:16.020]looking at a light bar
[00:08:17.570]which has a stimulus, has a light.
[00:08:19.310]They would follow the light back and forth
[00:08:20.780]with their eyes.
[00:08:21.800]What we're able to record from their eye movements
[00:08:25.207]is on this screen here,
[00:08:26.040]we're able to determine what each eye is doing.
[00:08:29.130]Are both eyes working together,
[00:08:30.640]which is what we want.
[00:08:32.545]The great thing about these tools
[00:08:33.750]is that we can objectively measure
[00:08:35.320]how well their eyes are performing
[00:08:37.440]before concussion and then after a concussion
[00:08:40.010]which is really helpful to document their progress
[00:08:41.810]and helps us determine if they're ready
[00:08:43.340]to return to play
[00:08:44.350]and return to learn in the classroom.
[00:08:46.510]Another test that we do is really novel to Nebraska.
[00:08:48.950]It's called the Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potential test.
[00:08:52.170]It's this box here with a bunch of electrodes.
[00:08:54.860]This test allows us
[00:08:55.950]to look at the inner ear function particularly.
[00:08:58.750]We're the only program in Nebraska that's able
[00:09:00.810]to look at inner ear function to this level.
[00:09:03.730]What we're finding in our research is that
[00:09:05.080]after concussion, it's not uncommon
[00:09:06.750]for student athletes' inner ear function to change
[00:09:09.700]little by little.
[00:09:10.710]This test allows us to measure their inner ear function
[00:09:13.510]and their progress,
[00:09:15.150]as they play through Nebraska,
[00:09:16.560]and if that inner ear function changes.
[00:09:18.610]So with this test we're able to measure
[00:09:20.990]electrophysiology and look at the actual nerve integrity
[00:09:24.230]of the left and right inner ear.
[00:09:26.120]The next thing that we do as part of our baseline
[00:09:28.360]as well as any post-injuries,
[00:09:29.550]is also test the student athletes' hearing.
[00:09:32.010]We're able to tell if there are any changes
[00:09:33.650]to their ear at the peripheral level.
[00:09:35.570]We also check their middle ear function
[00:09:38.400]The next test that we do is called
[00:09:39.710]the Video Head Impulse Test.
[00:09:41.000]This is a really novel test to vestibular testing
[00:09:44.010]that we are able to determine
[00:09:45.550]the integrity of the inner ear
[00:09:47.840]in conjunction with VEMPs.
[00:09:49.700]This test has a little,
[00:09:50.920]the student athlete wears the goggles.
[00:09:52.510]It's got a camera in it.
[00:09:53.820]We're actually able to move the head left and right
[00:09:55.890]and record what the eye is doing in real time.
[00:09:58.130]This is a direct measure
[00:09:58.963]of the vestibular-ocular reflex
[00:10:00.800]and that's really important to measure
[00:10:02.130]before and after a concussion
[00:10:03.560]to determine if a student athlete's gonna need rehab
[00:10:06.090]to improve their vestibular-ocular reflex function.
[00:10:08.890]If we think about an athlete,
[00:10:09.960]they need to be able to move their head quickly,
[00:10:11.950]keeping their eyes on a target very nice and steady.
[00:10:14.420]So this test allows us to measure what their eyes are doing
[00:10:16.690]with head movement and body movement.
[00:10:20.040]From the graph here we can determine any subtle changes
[00:10:23.180]in their vestibular-ocular reflex function
[00:10:25.630]from left and to right ear.
[00:10:27.980]The last test that we do in our baseline
[00:10:30.320]as well as any research we do with our athletes,
[00:10:33.110]is a measure of balance function.
[00:10:35.400]Balance function really
[00:10:36.500]is how you integrate your eyes,
[00:10:38.200]your sense of touch
[00:10:39.033]and your inner ears together
[00:10:40.330]to help you perform.
[00:10:41.163]This test is called the CDP test,
[00:10:44.790]that's your organization test.
[00:10:46.620]It basically, it is a static balance function test.
[00:10:49.563]So a student athlete would stand on a force plate.
[00:10:52.060]This force plate would measure his postural sway,
[00:10:53.920]how well they're able to keep their balance
[00:10:55.630]and how much they sway front to back
[00:10:57.480]and left to right.
[00:10:58.890]In this test, we actually change a lot of dynamics
[00:11:02.160]about the actual environment.
[00:11:03.670]So we can make the force plate move
[00:11:05.980]and see how well the athlete
[00:11:07.080]can counteract that movement.
[00:11:08.770]We can make the visual surround move
[00:11:10.400]and counteract that athlete's visual input.
[00:11:13.980]Then we make them do really hard tasks,
[00:11:16.060]like make them close their eyes,
[00:11:17.570]or we have them stand on the force plate
[00:11:19.410]while it's moving
[00:11:20.243]and have the visual surround move at the same time.
[00:11:22.620]So now we're really seeing how well the athlete
[00:11:24.760]utilizes their inner ear to maintain balance.
[00:11:27.800]This is a great test to use
[00:11:29.200]when we're looking at baseline
[00:11:30.760]but really important test to use
[00:11:32.540]after any concussion.
[00:11:34.020]What we're finding is that
[00:11:35.070]as an athlete's able to report
[00:11:36.620]that they feel symptom-free,
[00:11:38.150]these tests allow us to objectively measure
[00:11:40.550]how well they're actually recovering
[00:11:42.330]from their concussion
[00:11:43.270]and makes us and our sports medicine team
[00:11:46.030]really confident to know
[00:11:47.070]they're ready to return to play
[00:11:48.380]and return to the classroom.
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