Deborah von Hapsburg, PhD, associate professor in ASP at UTHSC, and Jessica Hay, PhD, from the Department of Psychology at UTK, have received a grant totaling $437,137 from the National Institutes of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, a subsidiary of the National Institutes of Health. The award is being funded over a three-year period to study the effect of hearing loss on the perception and production of syllables during the babbling stage of speech development.
For this study, Drs. von Hapsburg and Hay will focus on understanding how the distribution of self-produced syllables affects perceptual preferences for syllables in normal hearing and hearing impaired infants. “We hope the project will improve scientific knowledge in the fields of developmental speech perception and production because it seeks to understand the relationship between perceptual and motor learning in the same infants,” said Dr. von Hapsburg. “Additionally, this research will have a sustained impact on the field of speech perception in the area of statistical learning as it will provide an account for how self-generated input from canonical babbling contributes to perceptual preferences in early speech development.”
Ultimately, the results of this study may contribute to improved therapeutic outcomes in children with hearing loss.