The IRC received seventeen outstanding proposals from leading universities and research institutions around the world in response to its 2017 request for proposals on the impact of audiovisual integration on acoustic communication in hearing impaired adults. This topic area recognizes the importance of considering that real-life communication does not occur solely in the auditory domain, but instead triggers simultaneous activation of different modalities, requiring cross-modal integration. The IRC is pleased to announce that the grant recipients are a team lead by Principal Investigator Prof. Hans Colonius, Carl von Ossietzky Universitat Oldenburg, Germany and another team lead by Prof. Anu Sharma, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA.
Hans Colonius is a professor in the Department of Psychology and the Cluster of Excellence “Hearing4all”, Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg. He and his co-workers, Professor Christiane Thiel, Anja Gieseler, Maike Tahden, and Dr. Stephanie Rosemann will focus on how hearing aid usage in mild-to-moderately hearing-impaired elderly affects audiovisual integration, speech perception, cognitive performance and neural connectivity using both psychophysical methods and fMRI.
"We are very excited about being able to follow up on our previous work and to finally realize the project that we have been thinking about for the last years”, said Prof. Colonius, “by investigating the causal relations between audiovisual integration, hearing aid use and speech performance in a longitudinal study!”
Anu Sharma is a Professor in the Department of Speech Language Hearing Sciences, Institute of Cognitive Science, and Center for Neuroscience at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her work will focus on examining changes in cross-modal neuroplasticity and auditory visual processing in age-related hearing loss and whether intervention with amplification restores auditory visual integration and underlying cortical networks to a normal state.
Prof. Sharma said: “This is a timely and much-needed topic that was requested by the IRC. We are excited about being able to conduct the study which will allow us to better understand the neuroplastic changes underlying auditory visual integration in hearing loss and how they are impacted by amplification”.
The IRC is once again very pleased to have received so many excellent proposals from leading researchers all around the world. “We know it takes a big effort to prepare such applications, and we want to express our sincere appreciation to all applicants for their contribution,” said Sridhar Kalluri, 2017-2018 Chair of the IRC.