Automated Behavioral Hearing Testing Device for Infants

Period of Performance: 04/01/1988 - 12/14/1988


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Artificial Hearing Systems Corporation
North Miami, FL 33161
Principal Investigator


Concern about the effects of hearing impairment on a child's development is causing hearing evaluation to become a routine part of pediatric care. While the commercial market has focused on the improvement of electrophysiologic procedures and equipment, behavioral procedures which may be more appropriately used with older infants and children have been largely ignored. The overall goal of this project is to develop a computerized instrument for efficient behavioral hearing testing of infants and young children based on the principles of Visual Reinforcement Audiometry (VRA). The specific aim of Phase I is to determine the optimal method of obtaining an audiogram for an infant in a minimum amount of time. Software programs will be written for three methods of hearing threshold estimation: clinical VRA, Parameter Estimation by Sequential Testing (PEST), and stochastic decision making. The three protocols will be compared in terms of threshold agreement with standard audiometry, time for testing and cost. The experimental device will put the entire procedure including the generation of stimuli and random activation of multiple reinforcers under computer control. The proposed system is expected to improve the accuracy and lower the cost of the clinical procedure.