The Ear-Brain System: Approaches to the Study and Treatment of Hearing Loss

  • Saunders, Gabrielle (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research (NCRAR) hosts a conference biennially with a view to bringing together clinicians and researchers to discuss and learn about clinical issues associated with improvement of rehabilitation for hearing-impaired individuals. The purpose of this grant application is to request funding for the upcoming 4th Biennial Conference titled "The Ear-Brain System: Approaches to the Study and Treatment of Hearing Loss." It will take place in Portland, Oregon on October 7th-9th, 2009. The objective of this particular conference is to increase understanding of the functional relationships that exist between the peripheral auditory system ("the ear") and the auditory brainstem and cortex ("the brain"). Age- related hearing loss afflicts just under half of the U.S. population over the age of 65 years, and most (83%) individuals over the age of 70 years, and reports also show hearing loss is on the rise for all age groups. The scientific literature shows that when listening to complex stimuli (e.g. speech), the performance of hearing impaired individuals is poorer than that of normal hearing individuals, even when stimuli are equally-detectable. This emphasizes the importance of considering the interactions between central and peripheral function and dysfunction when addressing auditory rehabilitation. To this end, this conference will address the interactions between the ear(s) and the brain from neural, functional, and clinical perspectives. Presentations by invited speakers will describe the anatomical and physiological basis of the ear-brain system, the perceptual and behavioral utility of such an interconnected system, the ways that the relationships between the parts can be assessed, the mechanisms by which the various parts can be damaged, and the therapeutic methods that exist for diagnosing and treating this damage. Real-world examples and case studies will be emphasized and significant time will be spent examining the available treatments as well as those that are the focus of ongoing research or could be envisioned for the future. The meeting will begin with an opening reception and keynote address on the first evening followed by two days of presentations and a poster session. The primary presentations will take place over four sessions, each session addressing a different topic. There are two invited speakers and one roundtable discussion associated with each session. This conference will educate participants about the ways in which considering and treating the ear and the brain as an interactive functional system can improve understanding and treatment of hearing loss. It will provide a primarily clinical audience with exposure to the basic and applied research necessary for the development of data-driven clinical protocols, as well as exposing members of the scientific community to critical insights and motivation from clinicians regarding patient care that can only come from first-hand experience treating patients. The target audience is practicing clinical audiologists. However, in past years researchers, medical personnel and students have also attended the NCRAR conferences. Up to ten scholarships will be awarded to practicing clinicians to cover the cost of conference attendance;one of these scholarships will be reserved for a minority applicant. The meeting will be publicized via e-mail lists from national and local organizations and through audiology training programs. Conference proceedings will be published in the journal "Seminars in Hearing". The NCRAR hosted highly successful conferences in 2003, 2005, and 2007 using the same format and locations as this proposed meeting. Audience ratings from those meetings show that almost 90% of participants found the content, format, speakers and location to be "favorable" or "extremely favorable." The purpose of this grant is to supplement funding of the 4th Biennial Conference to be hosted by the National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research (NCRAR). The conference is titled 'The Ear-Brain System: Approaches to the Study and Treatment of Hearing Loss". It will take place in Portland, Oregon on October 7th- 9th, 2009. The goal of all NCRAR conferences is to provide a forum for clinicians and researchers to exchange ideas and knowledge with the purpose of improving rehabilitation for auditory impairment. The objective of this particular conference is to increase understanding of the functional relationships that exist between the peripheral auditory system ("the ear") and the auditory brainstem and cortex ("the brain"). Nine world-renowned scientists have agreed to present at the meeting. The target audience is practicing audiologists, however in past years researchers, medical personnel and audiology students have also attended the NCRAR conferences.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date3/1/092/28/10

Funding

  • National Institutes of Health: $29,925.00

ASJC

  • Medicine(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)

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