Professor Suzanne Purdy is Head of School of Psychology at the University of Auckland and Principal Investigator in the University of Auckland Centre for Brain Research (CBR) and the Brain Research New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence. Her academic background is in psychology, audiology and speech science and she has research interests in communication disorders, auditory processing, hearing, cochlear implants, and neurological conditions. Current research activities include two population studies of hearing and auditory processing, and investigations of sensory function in adults with mild cognitive impairment, cognition and speech perception in people who use cochlear implants, diagnosis and treatment of auditory processing disorder, and language and hearing in children starting school in an area experiencing high levels of deprivation. She has many productive and enjoyable collaborations with speech-language therapists, paediatricians, audiologists, neuropsychologists, and other researchers and members of the community.
Presentation: Listening effort and speech perception in adults with cochlear implants: Can noise reduction help?
Listening effort has been defined as “refers to the mental exertion required to attend to and understand an auditory message”. Listening effort is high for people with cochlear implants, even when listening conditions are relatively easy. We have measured listening effort in a number of ways to determine how this links to speech perception and working memory in people with cochlear implants. Working memory is often measured by having people recall strings of numbers but can also be measured with more complex reading tasks. Results for people using the N6 or N7 cochlear implants indicate some benefit of noise reduction as well as links between speech perception and working memory. Factors influencing differences in performance on complex dual-task paradigms (listening and looking) across studies will be discussed.