Improving hearing protection with neuroplasticity
Hearing protection devices (HPDs) are standard personal protective equipment (PPE). but servicemembers often do not use them because HPDs impair spatial hearing. which compromises situation awareness. Here we will quantify the impact of a passive HPD on spatial hearing and motion perception. and test if a 3-day augmented reality training regime induces plasticity leading to significant improvements. Attention profoundly influences auditory processing. and is expected to facilitate training-related plasticity. Our central hypothesis is that improvements in spatial hearing and motion detection are mediated by neural plasticity and honed by attention during HPD training. Behavior and neural processing will be measured to objectively determine if training can improve HPD-related declines in spatial hearing and motion detection by 50%. and also reduce listening effort. The research outcomes will show how evidence-based training can accelerate HPD acclimatization. resulting in greater PPE compliance.