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Psychology Professor Wins Auditory Research Grant for Work to Improve Speech Recognition

Joseph Toscano, PhD, earns Capita Foundation award

Joseph Toscano, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Joseph Toscano, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, earned one of six $15,000 2019 Capita Foundation Auditory Research grant awards for his work examining the effects of hearing difficulty on speech perception.

Dr. Toscano notes that speech perception problems can affect many adults even if they have normal hearing thresholds.

"These cases of 'hidden hearing loss' can result in problems coding intensity differences at higher sound levels and, in turn, can disrupt perception of certain acoustic cues used to distinguish speech sounds," he says.

Dr. Toscano's project will investigate a new technique to improve speech recognition by filtering the sound signal to make these intensity differences more noticeable, compensating for deficits associated with hidden hearing loss.

Capita Foundation is a nonprofit organization that funds hearing research scientists with micro-grants for innovative work in the prevention and cure of hearing disorders. Learn more about the Captia Foundation Auditory Research Grants.


About Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Since its founding in 1842, Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has cultivated knowledge, understanding and intellectual courage for a purposeful life in a challenged and changing world. With 39 majors across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, it is the oldest and largest of Villanova’s colleges, serving more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The College is committed to a teacher-scholar model, offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate research opportunities and a rigorous core curriculum that prepares students to become critical thinkers, strong communicators and ethical leaders with a truly global perspective.