Welcome to the Child Speech Research Lab at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign! Our research focuses on the factors influencing the development of speech perception in children with and without hearing loss. In particular, we examine how age and listening experience can impact the ability to understand speech in a variety of environments, including environments with many talkers. Our most recent work aims to characterize children’s immature ability to use acoustic voice differences between talkers to improve speech-in-speech recognition.
One current focus is on the way talker familiarity can impact children’s ability to take advantage of acoustic voice differences between competing talkers.
Another focus is on the way that children with mild-to-severe hearing loss are able to use voice characteristics, such as voice pitch or intonation patterns, to improve their speech perception in complex listening environments. In addition to improving our understanding of the factors that contribute to children’s ability to recognize speech in multi-talker environments, the long-term goals of our research include finding ways to improve communication outcomes for children with hearing loss. To find out more please visit our Research page.