Decoding the auditory system

A person with headphones adjacent to a model of an ear

Projects involving decoding the auditory system

The brain circuity of hearing, how auditory perceptions arise, and how people listen in everyday situations.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A female clinician using an otoscope on a female participant

Nottingham Hearing BioResource

Project lead: Ian Wiggins

Funders: NIHR Nottingham BRC; CRN East Midlands Under-Served Communities

The Nottingham Hearing BioResource (NHB) represents our effort to begin leveraging the power of large, open, accessible datasets towards transforming the way treat and manage hearing loss and hearing-related conditions in future.
Large-scale datasets, such as the UK Biobank and the Human Connectome Project, have proved extremely powerful for facilitating research into mechanisms of human health and disease.  However, a limitation of existing datasets is that hearing health phenotypes are captured at a rudimentary level, with even basic pure-tone audiometry data rarely being available. This severely limits the scope of the questions that can be asked of these datasets from an auditory perspective. The Nottingham Hearing BioResource (NHB) represents our effort to begin leveraging the power of large, open, accessible datasets in a way that could transform how we treat and manage hearing loss and hearing-related conditions in future.
 

 

 

 

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Audio-vestibular Symptoms associated with Traumatic Brain Injury

Project lead: Kathryn Fackrell

PhD student: Kübra Bölükbaş

Funder: The Republic of Turkiye Ministry of National Education

The damage to the auditory system due to trauma causes many problems related to the hearing and vestibular system. The aim of this project is to comprehensively present the auditory and vestibular consequences of non-blast-related TBI. 
An online survey study to evaluate the experience and opinions of healthcare professionals dealing with this patient group, and recruitment was launched in May 2022 and data collection will be completed in December 2022. At the same time, a scoping review exploring and collating the auditory and vestibular problems reported in individuals with non-blast-related TBI is ongoing. Findings obtained from these studies will then be used to inform the structure of our clinical project. Our studies will provide clinicians and researchers with a useful framework for advanced research and clinical practice in the diagnosis and treatment of auditory and balance disorders associated with non-blast-related TBI.
 

 

 

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

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Mother-Child Inter-Brain Synchrony during free play: An fNIRS hyperscanning study

Project lead: Douglas Hartley

PhD student: Efstratia Papoutselou

Funder: NIHR Nottingham BRC

We are investigating the neural mechanisms that support everyday interactions between mothers and children using a non-invasive and portable neuroimaging technique called functional near infrared spectroscopy.

 

 

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Neural markers of language processing in typically developed children and children with developmental language disorder (DLD)

Project lead: Douglas Hartley

PhD student: Efstratia Papoutselou

Funder: NIHR Nottingham BRC

We are exploring the neural networks supporting language processing in typical development and DLD. Our goal is to identify neural markers of atypical neural activity in children with DLD compared to typically developed children.  

 

 

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Auditory cortical circuits of sound segregation

Project lead: Joseph Sollini

Funder: Nottingham Research Fellowship

Using optogenetics to functionally perturb parts of the auditory cortex (projection neurons) to understand the circuit for sequential and simultaneous sound segregation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Incorporating active strategies in speech testing to predict communication performance

Project lead: Tim Beechey

Funder: Medical Research Foundation

This project investigates how the inclusion of active communication behaviours in hearing testing may affect measures of hearing impairment and device benefit and improve predictions of individual rehabilitation outcomes.
Conversation is central to humans’ capacity to communicate, maintain relationships, and fulfil requirements of daily living. A person’s capacity for successful spoken conversation relies on both hearing sensitivity and the use of active communication strategies, such as asking for repetitions or moving closer to a talker. This project incorporates active communication strategies into controlled assessment of speech comprehension to quantify the benefit of these strategies and the extent to which taking account of these strategies can improve the prediction of the impact of hearing impairment and amplification on speech understanding.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hearing Sciences

Mental Health & Clinical Neuroscience
School of Medicine
University of Nottingham
Medical School, QMC
Nottingham, NG7 2UH


telephone: University Park +44 (0) 115 74 86900
Ropewalk House +44 (0) 115 82 32600
Glasgow +44 (0) 141 242 9665
email: hearing-research@nottingham.ac.uk