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Learning to Hear: Understanding Speech in Noise from Infancy to Adolescence


Monday, January 18, 2016

Lori Leibold, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Hearing Research and Human Auditory Development Laboratory at Boys Town National Research Hospital will be presenting Learning to Hear: Understanding Speech in Noise from Infancy to Adolescence on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016 from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. in the Marshall Ballroom South (Marriott Wardman Park) at the American Association for the Advancement of Science's (AAAS) 2016 Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Leibold's presentation will focus on research showing that children have more difficulty than adults when listening to speech in the presence of competing background sounds, particularly when the background sounds are also speech. One surprising finding from Dr. Leibold's program of research is that the ability to hear and understand speech in the presence of other people talking remains immature into the adolescent years. The lecture will focus on studying how extensive listening experience and neural maturation are required for children to master the perceptual skills required to hear and understand speech in noisy environments.

This study impacts all children with hearing loss because children spend the majority of their days in environments that include multiple people talking at the same time. While these environments are challenging for children who are typically developing, emerging new findings indicate that hearing loss exacerbates the difficulties all children have in noisy environments.

Dr. Leibold will be one of three speakers during the presentation, I Can't Hear Myself Think! Noise and the Developing Brain from Infancy to Adulthood. Other speakers include Amir Lahav, Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Rochelle Newman, Professor and Chair in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, and Associate Director of the new Maryland Language Science Center at the University of Maryland. For more information, ​visit