Essex Hearing Research Laboratory


Wivenhoe Park, Colchester CO4 3SQ, United Kingdom, Tel +44(0)1206 87333
copyright 1999-2011 University of Essex. All rights reserved
page updated on 25 January 2013

In the hearing research laboratory we are researching the following topics.

    More information can be found on the presentations page.

    Two videos can also be found on the public page.

Computer models

The research aims to understand aspects of hearing in terms of the anatomy and physiology of the ear and the auditory brainstem. Our theories of how hearing works are embedded in computer models that simulate hearing. An auditory computer model takes sound as its input and shows how the ear will react at the physiological level. It will also indicate what a listener hears and how he reacts to the sound.


Recent research has produced individualised computer models that simulate the hearing of individual listeners, including people with hearing impairment. To do this we need to make detailed measurements of a person’s hearing and we have developed new techniques and software to do this quickly and easily with a minimum of subject training.

Hearing impairment

Our detailed measuring techniques have allowed us to generate hearing profiles of a number (currently >60) of people, most of whom have a hearing impairment. The measurements show considerable qualitative as well as quantitative  variation.


Many people with hearing impairment also suffer from tinnitus. However, many do not. Our recent research has identified a particular type of hearing impairment most likely to be associated with tinnitus.

Hearing aids

Our computer model has helped us to devise a ‘biologically-inspired’ hearing aid. This is currently being tested.

Automatic speech recognition

The normal computer model can be used as the input to an automatic recognition system to generate useful recognition performance. Our research uses this system to understand the benefits from using hearing aids.

Department of Psychology at the University of Essex