By the deadline in August 2014 IRC had received 21 outstanding grant proposals
from leading universities around the world in response to the most recent RFP.
While last year’s grant recipients, Steven Colburn (Boston University, USA) &
Theo Goverts (VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam) and Gitte Keidser &
Virginia Best (National Acoustic Laboratories, Australia) were focussing on
research in the field of Perception of dynamic spatial listening scenarios, the
2014 RFP focuses on Neurodegeneration: Perceptual Consequences and
Quantification in Human Subjects.
IRC is very pleased to announce that the 2014 Grant recipients are Prof. John
Grose, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Dr. Elizabeth Beach,
PhD, National Acoustic Laboratories, Australia.
John Grose is Professor at the department of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck
Surgery, and his work will focus on characterizing auditory neurodegeneration
in humans, combining basic psychoacoustic measurements with
“There is increasing evidence that noise exposure can result in permanent
hearing changes even if the ability to detect quiet sounds remains intact”, Dr
John Grose says - “This project looks specifically at whether regular
attendance at loud music venues is associated with a compromised ability to
discern audible sounds over the long term. I am very enthusiastic be working
with the IRC on this project, as we consider this study an important next step
in our understanding of the perceptual consequences of hearing loss and aging”.
The project will be undertaken in the Hearing Research Laboratory at the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which has a distinguished history
of studying human auditory function using both behavioral and
Elizabeth Beach is a Research Psychologist at NAL, and her work will focus at
addressing outcomes of a potential target group of noise exposed workers, in
combination with basic auditory assessments. Elizabeth says: “It was such a
great topic for the IRC to initiate a request on, and it was a topic that we
had already been thinking about a lot. We're very much looking forward to the
study and reaching a better understanding of the nature of hidden hearing
Both projects look at the so-called ‘hidden hearing loss’ being an implication
of degeneration of neurons in the auditory fibers, due to noise exposure. The
term ‘hidden hearing loss’ refers to the fact that it is not obvious from an
audiogram, that hearing has deteriorated (significantly), but speech
understanding in noise is severely reduced.
“Once again we are very pleased to have received so many excellent proposals
from universities all around the world. We know it takes a big effort to
prepare such applications, and we want to express our thankfulness to all
applicant for their contribution,” said Joel Beilin, 2014-2015 Chair of the