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McNair Scholar 2016Victoria Y. Idowu

Victoria Y. Idowu is a senior at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, majoring in speech-language-hearing sciences and a minor in public health. Her research interest explores musician and non-musicians ability to hear in high intensity noise. Ms. Idowu’s plans on pursuing graduate studies after graduating.

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My dream is to provide innovative research, technologies, and answers in order to improve and bridge the gap in the lives of mankind, especially underprivileged and underrepresented communities

Research project

Ripple Perception in Musicians Compared to Non-Musicians Effects of Bandwidth and Intensity

Abstract: Noisy environments can be problematic for individuals with hearing loss. Hearing aids amplify sound and are often the primary rehabilitation tool. The auditory system, however, is not designed to optimally process speech at high intensities. Lateral inhibition (LI) is a mechanism that could be tailored to alleviate some negative effects of high intensities on perception. LI is known to enhance speech and music perception. This study measured thresholds in musicians and non-musicians using a rippled signal that was parametrically varied to induce LI. We hypothesized that musicians performance would show greater inhibition compared to non-musicians. Results confirmed that musicians and non-musicians are unable to effectively discriminate at high intensities for a narrow bandwidth signal, but musicians perform better for a wider bandwidth. Our findings show that musicians present a good model for studying physiological or behavioral mechanisms related to LI. Future work will explore LI in individuals with hearing loss. Download poster. Download poster. [PDF]

Faculty profile

Evelyn Davies-Venn is currently an assistant professor in the University of Minnesota Speech-Language-Hearing department. Dr. Davies-Venn attended the University of Washington where she received her Au.D. and Ph.D. in Audiology. Her research specializes in sensory aids and perception. She is interested in understanding factors that influence individual variance in treatment outcomes and using this information to design customizable sensory aids for individuals with hearing loss. Dr. Davies-Venn has published her worked in peer-reviewed journals and presented at several research and invited meetings. Dr. Davies-Venn represents what it means to pay it forward. She is a previous McNair scholar and now McNair faculty mentor at the University of Minnesota and engaged in the community.