Monday, June 3, 2013

New Training Program for Auditory Processing Disorder

Diagram of human brain showing surface gyri an...
Diagram of human brain showing surface gyri and the primary auditory cortex Angular Gyrus Supramarginal Gyrus Broca's Area Wernicke's Area Primary Auditory Cortex (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

New program for auditory processing disorder developed by some of the big dogs in the field. Wonder how it stacks up against Brain Fitness or Fast forward?

Based on a wealth of empirical evidence on the neuroscience, diagnosis and treatment of central auditory processing disorder (CAPD), Sound Auditory Training (SAT) is a soon-to-be-available new web-based program designed to train auditory processing skills in children, adults, and older adults with CAPD as well as other clinical populations, such as patients with cochlear implants. Developed by Drs. Chermak, Musiek and Weihing, SAT makes available well controlled stimuli that can be customized to exercise a number of fundamental auditory skills. In addition to training, it provides clinicians with a tool-set to design one’s own training tasks and evaluate auditory skills, and provides clinical scientists with highly accessible stimuli to design psychoacoustic procedures. While the developers offer general guidelines for selecting specific tasks and setting parameters based on clinical profiles, SAT is not a program nor is it a test. Rather, SAT is a tool-set that includes adaptable auditory stimuli, a range of auditory tasks, and engaging graphic interfaces to meet the clinical or research needs of the professional.

Sound Auditory Training relies on adaptive algorithms (i.e., the program changes in response to the user’s performance), flexible feedback to the user (via animations or counters), and flexible parameter settings for the clinician/clinical scientist, parents, educators, and users. Tasks train intensity, frequency, and temporal detection, discrimination, and identification using a variety of non-verbal (e.g., tones, noise) and minimally loaded verbal stimuli (e.g., consonant-vowel syllables). Immediate feedback (error correction and reinforcement) is provided through animations within the game. Skills are practiced intensively until they become habitual and automatic. The exercises are sequenced to challenge but not overwhelm the participant. The clinician can use the software to obtain a more comprehensive profile of an individual’s skill strengths and skill deficits in order to more efficiently and effectively target and train deficit areas on a variety of auditory tasks.

In addition to its usefulness to clinical professionals, SAT is designed to be accessible to parents and teachers so that the exercises can be administered in a non-clinical environment. It is also designed to meet the needs of researchers to serve as a tool for investigation of auditory psychophysics, especially with children. The flexibility of the program allows updates based in research and thus promotes evidence-based practice. It provides auditory training exercises that encompass a wide range of auditory processing skills. Most important, SAT exercises auditory skills which are most likely to have a meaningful impact on a person’s listening, communication, and learning. Anticipated release date is August 2013 but you can contact Plural Publishing for more information and a web-based trial package

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