Electrophysiology of Infant Speech Perception

  • Cone-Wesson, Barbara K (PI)

Project: Research project

Grant Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Cone-Wesson's career has included 15 years as a clinician-investigator in hospital/medical school based programs, and 10 years as a teacher-investigator, in academic programs offering clinical training in audiology. Her research has been focused on hearing disabilities in very young infants, using electrophysiological methods for detection and assessment of those hearing disabilities. Her research seeks to combine developmental neuroscience with clinical audiology, so as to provide for the early detection, assessment and treatment of the disability in infancy, during a period of prodigious brain plasticity. Environment: The University of Arizona Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences offers research training through its Ph.D. program, and clinical training through a master's program in speech- language pathology and an audiology doctorate (Au.D.). The research programs within the department are highly interdisciplinary in nature with collaborations in (clinical) departments such as Neurology and Pediatrics and in (academic) departments of Cell Biology and Anatomy, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Psychology, Physiology, Neuroscience, and Cognitive Sciences, Linguistics, Special Education and Rehabilitation. Research: Specific aims are to: 1) evaluate infant discrimination of speech features using auditory evoked potentials from the brainstem and cortex; 2) evaluate speech perception abilities using age-appropriate behavioral methods; 3) tie together electrophysiologic and behavioral methods to predict speech perception abilities and eventual speech and language development in infants at risk for hearing loss, central auditory dysfunction or language impairment. The long-term goals the research proposed are to obtain detailed knowledge about the development of infant hearing sensitivity for, and perception of, complex sounds including speech. Relevance: Newborn hearing screening has increase the number of infants identified with hearing loss; these infants will benefit most from early assessment of and intervention for hearing, speech and language. The knowledge gained in the proposed research will constitute the basis of innovative and sensitive clinical methods for hearing evaluation and the monitoring of treatment and habitation in infants.
Effective start/end date5/1/0710/31/13


  • National Institutes of Health: $132,894.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $136,428.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $134,572.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $132,081.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $129,661.00


  • Medicine(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)