The RLE Sensory Communication Group investigates topics in three broad areas: hearing aids, the tactile communication of speech, and auditory perception and cognition. The long term goal of the hearing aid research conducted in the group is to develop improved hearing aids for people suffering from sensorineural hearing impairments and cochlear implants for the deaf. Efforts are focused on problems resulting from inadequate knowledge of the effects of various transformations of speech signals on speech reception by impaired listeners, specifically on the fundamental limitations on the improvements in speech reception that can be achieved by processing speech. The long term goal of the tactile communication research conductedf by the group is to develop tactual aids for persons who are profoundly deaf or deaf-blind to serve as a substitute for hearing in the reception of speech and environmental sounds. This research can contribute to improved speech reception and production, language competence, and environmental-sound recognition in such individuals.
The group is led by Professor Louis D. Braida, Dr. Nathaniel I. Durlach, and Dr. Charlotte M. Reed