Ken W. Grant is the Chief of the Scientific and Clinical Studies Section, Audiology and Speech Center and the Director of the Auditory-Visual Speech Perception Laboratory at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Dr. Grant received his doctoral degree in 1986 from Washington University and Central Institute for the Deaf and is a Fellow with the Acoustical Society of America. His research has been concerned primarily with the integration of eye and ear for speech perception in both normal and hearing-impaired populations using behavioral and neurophysiological measures. Current work in this area is focused on changes in cognitive load as a result of combining auditory and visual cues and the impact of age, hearing loss, and traumatic brain injury on one’s ability to selectively attend to one or more targets in the presence of multiple competing auditory and visual sources. In addition, Dr. Grant and colleagues at Walter Reed, and the Electrical Engineering and Neuroscience and Cognitive Science Departments at the University of Maryland, College Park have been applying models of auditory processing to hearing-aid algorithm selection. Biologically inspired models of auditory processing are being applied in order to address one of the central problems in communication sciences: the limited success of hearing aids to improve speech communication in noise and reverberation.Dr. Grant’s most recent work has focused on clinical measures and real-world validation studies related to hearing fitness-for-duty. Collaborating with laboratories and researchers around the world, studies are being conducted to identify the hearing skills needed for specific mission related tasks. These involve tests of speech in different background noise, segregation of multiple sound sources, integration of multimodal inputs, and localization.
Current Funding: Three Year Multi-site study, "Prevalence and Objective Verification of Central Auditory Processing Disorders (CAPD) in Blast-Exposed Warfighters". The purpose of this grant is to evaluate the prevalence of Central Auditory Processing Disorders and "Hidden Hearing Loss" in active duty service members with blast exposure, and explore the origins of those issues.
1) To determine the prevalence of self-perceived difficulties understanding speech in noisy environments by blast-exposed service men and women with normal to near-normal hearing (H1 hearing profile based on Army Regulation 40-501);
2) To examine the relationship between self-perceived speech recognition deficits and functional measures of speech and binaural hearing performance;
3) To examine central auditory processing (primarily related to temporal and binaural cues) and cognitive-communication skills (primarily related to memory, attention, and speed of processing) in the affected population (listeners with normal to near-normal hearing that demonstrate abnormal speech recognition in noise) in order to develop screening tools that are specifically tailored to the evaluation, and eventual treatment/rehabilitation, of problems associated with hearing in adverse listening environments.