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Idaho State University

Audiology Presents Research at National Convention

Written by: Scarlett Smith

POCATELLO - A team of Idaho State University Audiology researchers were nationally recognized for their ongoing study exploring the workings of the middle ear. Three of those members, Associate Professors Chris Sanford and Gabriel Bargen along with graduate student Austin Childers attended the American Academy of Audiology meeting in Indianapolis, the largest annual gathering of audiologists in the U.S. There, they were recognized for their research poster receiving special recognition in the electrophysiology category.

The National Institutes of Health funded study, explores how age-related changes in the middle ear influence new and innovative tests of middle ear function.

Because the middle ear plays a vital role in transferring sound into the inner ear and consequently, our ability to hear, it is important to know how this transfer of sound may be altered by age-related changes in middle ear anatomy or through illness or injury,” said Sanford.

To further their research they have taken full advantage of advancing technology. Specifically, exploring the use of the wideband acoustic immittance (WAI); an acoustic measuring instrument that allows for easily-made measurements at the entrance of the ear canal. WAI allows a more comprehensive and accurate analysis of the middle ear function.

“Understanding age-related variability in WAI responses would be a significant step forward in enhancing the clinical utility of these new tests,” said Sanford.