The Miller Laboratory is located in the Center for Mind & Brain (http://mindbrain.ucdavis.edu) at the University of California, Davis. Our neuro-engineering research uses techniques such as EEG, functional MRI, and machine learning to translate fundamental scientific results into real-world solutions for people with hearing loss. Among our current projects are a patent-pending brain-based hearing loss diagnostic, as well as a wearable “attentional prosthesis” and mobile app that will help listeners understand speech in noisy environments.

Why we’re here

Countless normal listeners have trouble understanding speech in noisy environments.  Unfortunately, certain special populations have even greater difficulty.  By far the most numerous are those with hearing loss, now numbering 30 million Americans and half a billion worldwide.  Depression, loneliness, and social anxiety are common conditions afflicting those (particularly older adults) who suffer this reduced ability to communicate.  Untreated hearing loss in the U.S. costs tens of billions of dollars annually.  The human costs are immeasurable.

Results from our research is leading to practical solutions such as: improved audiological diagnosis and targeting, improved hearing-device design (wearable aids and implants), better speech recovery after device fitting, improved training on listening strategies, and enhanced social integration among special populations. Our research has been made possible by the generous support of the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD, a division of the National Institutes of Health NIH), Google, Oculus (a Facebook company), the Child Family Fund for the CMB, and Starkey Hearing Technologies.