Audiology Research

We are involved in a number of scholarship activities. Explore the types of research our faculty are currently conducting in the Audiology Program.

Aural rehabilitation

Research in this area encompasses the outcomes of aural (re)habilitation. These include auditory skills training, support groups, and re-learning how to listen with new hearing technology, such as through cochlear implants.  Additionally, research projects focus on the needs, supports, and accommodations for individuals who are d/Deaf and hard of hearing. 

Email Dr. Lim for more information


  • Wagner, K., Pennell, S. M., Eilert, M., & Lim, S. R. (2022). Academic mothers with disabilities: Navigating academia and parenthood during COVID‐19. Gender, Work & Organization29 (1), 342-352.
  • Lim, S. R., Cerdeña, J. P., Azim, K. A., & Wagner, K. (2021). Mother scholars with disabilities: Surmounting structural adversity during COVID-19. American Educational History Journal, 133-140.
  • Huyck, J. J., Anbuhl, K. L., Buran, B. N., Adler, H. J., Atcherson, S. R., Cakmak, O., & Steyger, P. S. (2021). Supporting equity and inclusion of deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals in professional organizations. In Frontiers in Education (p. 417). Frontiers.
  • Lim, S. R., Goldberg, D. M., & Flexer, C. (2018). Auditory-verbal graduates—25 years later: outcome survey of the clinical effectiveness of the listening and spoken language approach for young children with hearing loss. The Volta Review118 (1-2), 5-40.
  • Adler, H. J., Anbuhl, K. L., Atcherson, S. R., Barlow, N., Brennan, M. A., Brigande, J. V., & Wong, V. (2017). Community network for deaf scientists. Science356 (6336), 386-387.
  • Ellington, T., & Lim, S. (2013). Adolescents’ aesthetic and functional view of hearing aids or cochlear implants and their relationship to self-esteem levels. Fashion Practice(1), 59-80.

Beyond hearing aids and cochlear implants

Research in this area involves investigating the psychosocial support provided to those with hearing loss and the effectiveness of these types of support. A key component of audiological care with those who require earing devices (e.g., hearing aids, cochlear implants, auditory osseointegrated​​ implants).​

Hearing conservation

This research documents auditory risk of exposure to high-level firearm noise, highlighting the need for early education and intervention efforts for recreational firearm users to minimize their risk of acquiring noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). 

The Grinn Hearing Lab is committed to developing a model that accurately predicts individual susceptibility to noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) to better identify and protect high-risk populations. The Grinn Hearing Lab collaborates with the CMU Hearing Conservation Program and the CMU College of Music to prevent occupational and recreational hearing loss on campus and in the community.

Email the Grinn Hearing Lab for more information

Research projects

Temporary hearing changes following recreation virtual-reality (VR) music concert

Temporary threshold shift refers to reduced hearing sensitivity following noise exposure, which then recovers fully within 24 hours. Noise-induced cochlear synaptopathy refers to lasting permanent damage to the synaptic connections between the inner hair cells and auditory nerve dendrites following a severe, temporary threshold shift. It has become clear that not every noise exposure that induces temporary threshold shift will result in cochlear synaptopathy. Less is known about the effects of slight (0-10 dB HL), rather than severe, temporary threshold shifts in humans, be it changes in cochlear nerve response or hearing-in-noise performance. This study analyzed slight, temporary hearing sensitivity changes after viewing a music exposure that is quantifiably a low noise risk: a 90 min live music concert using a commercially available virtual-reality (VR) headset. 


  • Grinn, S., Garozzo, J., Notaro, D., Saxon, R., Shokar, J. Cochlear Nerve Response Following Acute Recreational Music Exposure (in preparation).
  • Grinn, S., Trevino, M., Lobarinas, E. (2022). Noise-induced Threshold Shift Susceptibility Correlated with Pre-Cochlear Amplification in Chinchilla (under review).
  • Grinn, S. & Le Prell, C.G. (2022). Evaluation of Hidden Hearing Loss in Normal-Hearing Firearm Users. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 16.
  • Grinn, S. & Le Prell, C.G. (2021). Modeling Individual Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Risk with Proxy Measurements of External-Ear Amplification. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 149(6), 3975-3987.
  • Grinn, S. & Le Prell, C.G. (2019). Noise-dose estimated with and without Pre-cochlear Amplification. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 146(5), 3967-3977.
  • Grinn, S., Wiseman, K. B., Baker, J. A., & Le Prell, C. G. (2017). Hidden hearing loss? No effect of common recreational noise exposure on cochlear nerve response amplitude in humans. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 11, 465.

Literacy in children with hearing loss

Research surrounding child and adolescent hearing loss involves long-term language and literacy outcomes of children with hearing loss and factors that may affect those outcomes. This research entails but is not limited to: hearing technology, a child's primary language, age of hearing loss identification and age of first intervention.  

Newborn hearing screening for homebirth babies

Research in this area focuses on newborn hearing screening in babies delivered outside of the traditional hospital setting. In order to accomplish this work, we work with midwives across the state of Michigan to provide equipment and training that will allow the hearing screening.​​​

Speech perception and sound localization

Research in this area specifically focuses on speech perception and sound localization in noise and reverberation in patients with cochlear implants and hearing aids. Advancing our knowledge in this area extends on our current understanding of binaural processing and provides valuable information for current signal processing strategies and compression circuits design in order to improve quality of life.

Email Dr. Zheng for more information


  • Zheng, Y., Swanson, J., Koehnke, J., & Guan, J. (2022). Sound localization of listeners with normal hearing, impaired hearing, hearing aids, and cochlear implants: A review. American Journal of Audiology, 31(3), 819-834.
  • Zheng, Y., Koehnke, J., & Besing, J. (2017). Combined effect of noise and reverberation on sound localization for listeners with normal hearing and bilateral cochlear implants. American Journal of Audiology, 26, 519-530. doi:10.1044/2017_AJA-16-0101.
  • Zheng, Y. (2017). Binaural sound processing in noise and reverberation for listeners with cochlear implants. Journal of Phonetics and Audiology, 3,132doi: 10.4172/2471-9455.1000132.
  • Zheng, Y., Koehnke, J., & Besing, J. (2016). Effects of reverberation on sound localization for bilateral cochlear implant users. Journal of Phonetics and Audiology, 2,108. doi:10.4172 /jpay.1000108.

Temporal processing

Research in this area involves central auditory processing. Such examples include the comparison of several temporal processing tests, behavioral temporal processing as well as electrophysiological measures of temporal processing. This research is important as it helps validate the utilization of these testing procedures in various clinical populations. Other areas include evaluating theories of auditory processing. 

Vestibular research

Research in this area is directed at providing the best clinical vestibular practice. Examples include reexamining commonly used protocols for vestibular assessment and suggesting improved methods o​f clinical testing based on data collected on modern-computerized instrumentation. Research also ​includes investigating the incidence of vestibular disorders in unique populations (e.g., adults living with sickle cell anemia). Finding solutions for evaluation and treatment for these groups is the focus.