Welcome to the Speech Perception and Cognition Research Laboratory!

Research at the Speech Perception and Cognition Lab has the overarching goal of improving the communication ability and quality of life for older adults with age-related hearing loss. Our work focuses on the perceptual and cognitive mechanisms in older adults’ speech perception, as many older individuals tend to have difficulty perceiving speech in adverse conditions, such as noisy environments or group conversations. Health issues such as age-related hearing loss and cognitive impairment could make this even more difficult. Therefore, our lab aims to help develop clinical outcome measures that effectively reflect listeners’ experiences in real-world communicative contexts. The research in the SPAC Lab addresses this problem based on multiple lines of work:

  • Perceptual mechanisms in older adults’ speech perception under adverse conditions and the variability across individual listeners   
  • The interplay between hearing loss and cognitive difficulty in the aging cohort and its impact on clinical service  
  • Speech perception outcome measures that capture online processing of speech with fine-grained time sensitivity 
Hearing test in a study protocol


We are grateful to have ongoing support for our work from the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders. 

Opportunities for older individuals  

We are interested in working with older individuals with and without hearing loss who would like to participate in research. All of our research participants are compensated for their time and offered counseling about their auditory abilities as part of their involvement in our studies.

 For information on our current research projects, please contact us at spaclab@temple.edu

Lab news


New publication from our lab in Trends in Hearing. “The Effect of Breathy Vocal Quality on Speech Intelligibility and Listening Effort in Background Noise.”


Congratulations to Brie for the successful poster presentation “On the Perception of Continuous Speech in Noise” at the College Research Day!


Mollee received the Mentored Student Presentation Travel Award from the American Auditory Society to present our work at the annual conference in March. Congratulations Mollee and co-authors!


New publication from our lab in Frontiers in Psychology – Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience. “Interactions between Acoustic Challenges and Processing Depth in Speech Perception as Measured by Task-evoked Pupil Response”.


New publication from our lab in the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. “Speech Recognition in Noise Performance Measured Remotely Versus In-Laboratory From Older and Younger Listeners”.


Our work is spotlight in the College of Public Health News. Watch a short YouTube video to learn more about our work!


Dr. Jing Shen gave a talk at the 2022 Convention of the New Jersey Speech-Language-Hearing Association. “The ear is connected to the brain: aging and cognition in the audiology clinic”.


Congratulations to Mollee Feeney for receiving the the Diamond Research Scholarship! She worked on a project about the perception of continuous speech in background noise.