Doctors Dan Fogerty and Jessica Richardson, assistant professors in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, recently received extramural funding to support their research programs.
Dr. Fogerty’s project, entitled Maximizing speech recognition under adverse listening conditions, was funded by the National Institutes of Health. According to Dr. Fogerty, nearly one in three adults over the age of 65 experience some degree of hearing loss resulting in increased difficulty understanding speech in noisy environments. The current project is designed to identify the acoustic properties that facilitate understanding speech in such environments as well as the acoustic properties that older adults are able to process most successfully. The identification of these properties will facilitate the programming and individual customization of hearing devices to maximize speech understanding.
Dr. Richardson received a Discovery Grant from the South Carolina Clinical and Translational Research Institute to support her project, entitled Examining tDCS dosage and task effects using eye movements in reading. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a noninvasive and inexpensive method of changing cortical excitability and behaviors. When tDCS is coupled with behavioral treatment in clinical populations, treatment outcomes (e.g., naming accuracy in persons with aphasia and pinch force in persons with paresis) are enhanced. Dr. Richardson believes such findings hold great promise for chronic clinical populations. Her project will be the first to use eye movement data to directly compare the effects and aftereffects of brain stimulation administered during reading and resting conditions. This will provide crucial first information for determining optimal tDCS dosage in therapeutic settings.