The psychometric function measures how performance varies with speech level in a speech-in-noise task. It runs from chance to perfect via threshold. Its slope defines how much percent correct is gained per decibel of speech level. In general, the steeper the slope the better; a steeper slope ought to allow a higher resolution of test, which is needed to enable the detection of finer changes in performance that might be an early marker of a future hearing loss. The goal of this project is to research new methods to make the slope as steep as possible. It's quite easy to make a slope shallow but making it steep could be quite a challenge.
You will learn about speech-in-tests, comparison of different signals and background sounds (and their construction), psychometric methods and signal detection theory. There will be scope for experimental research using normal-hearing and hearing-impaired participants and developing computer simulations of performance.
You should have or expect to obtain a first class or upper 2.1 honours degree (or equivalent), or an MSc/MA, in neuroscience, psychology, audiology or other relevant scientific discipline. Research experience in auditory research will be an advantage. You will have excellent communication and team-working skills, be self-driven and highly motivated. You should also be eligible to apply for relevant research clearances that will be required including a check with the Disclosure and Barring Service.
The successful applicant will join a large and vibrant research cluster and benefit from strong supervisory and peer support.
Informal enquiries may be addressed to Professor Michael Akeroyd [Email Address Removed]
How to apply:
Please email [Email Address Removed] with the following documents and put “Prof Michael Akeroyd advertised NIHR Nottingham BRC PhD studentship” in the title.
· A maximum of a 2-page C.V.
· Degree certificate and transcript (if already graduated) or a recent transcript.
· 800 words personal statement (maximum but excludes references) about why you are interested in doing this PhD, how the ideas outlined align with your interests and experiences and any specific ideas you have for research projects you have in this area.
· Either two references (in a non-editable format, on headed paper and signed by the referee) or the details of two referees that we can contact. One of the references must be academic.