David Eddins, PhD, CCC-A, of CSD receives R01 grant for Psychoacoustic approach to dysphonic voice quality perception study

David Eddins, PhD, CCC-A, an audiologist and hearing scientist, has received an R01 grant for a study titled "Psychoacoustic approach to dysphonic voice quality perception," for which Eddins is the primary investigator (PI). The 5-year, $2,250,261 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institute on Deafness and Communication Disorders (NIDCD) will involve several CSD students and staff in addition to the PI from Michigan State University, Rahul Shrivastav, PhD, CCC-SLP, a speech-language pathologist and voice scientist.

"Voice quality is the most obvious symptom of most laryngeal disorders, including disorders associated with various neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, ALS, and spasmodic dysphonia as well as mass lesions on the vocal folds due to abuse, misuse, or disease," says Eddins.

"Unfortunately, in contemporary research and clinical practice, the primary measure of voice quality relies on the perceptual ratings of one or a few people who listen to live or recorded samples of a patient’s voice, and these subjective ratings are not very reliable."

The interdisciplinary collaboration between Eddins, Shrivastav, and their teams aims to create more reliable assessment of voice quality by establishing standardized measurements for basic investigation based on psychometric methods. To effectively create these measurements, establish formal conceptual models to predict voice quality perception based on large data sets collected in a laboratory setting.

"With the aid of these large data sets and model predictions, novel mathematical scales of measurement will be developed and validated for each of primary voice quality dimensions," says Eddins. "These scales will allow one to make quantitative and informative comparisons across patients, clinicians, laboratories and before, during and after treatment to establish treatment efficacy and outcomes."

- By Theresa L Woods