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National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research (NCRAR)

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Frederick (Erick) J. Gallun, Ph.D.

Phone: 503-494-5375

Current Appointments

  • Professor, Dept. Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery and Neuroscience Graduate Program, Oregon Health and Science University
  • Research Investigator

Research Interests

The work of the Gallun Lab can be summarized by the idea that exposure to high-energy explosions (“blasts”), concussion, and aging can increase the risk of having trouble doing complicated listening tasks even when the ability to do simple auditory detection tasks is preserved. These findings have come out of the Gallun Lab’s focus on the ability of listeners to perform complex listening tasks representative of the activities that comprise real world listening behavior.

The recent work on blast exposure involves Dr. Melissa Papesh, Dr. Tess Koerner, Dr. Sheila Pratt (Pittsburgh VA) and Dr. Lindsey Jorgensen (Sioux Falls VA), among many others who work tirelessly to collect and analyze the data from this important population. The work on aging involves multiple collaborators as well, including one NIH-funded project (described below) involving Dr. Aaron Seitz (Northeastern University), and Dr. Michelle Molis. 

All of these projects are tied together by the attempt to assesses the ability to do complex auditory tasks such as separating multiple sound sources using the various auditory cues available, and/or by assessing the ability to make judgments about the spatial, temporal, and spectral information contained in complex sounds. Our participants range in age from 18 to 89 and have hearing that varies from very good to moderately poor. Some of our participants have been near explosions during their military career, or have suffered blows to the head. Some of them have no complaints about their ability to hear and understand speech, while others find listening in noisy environments to be very difficult. Our goal is to do a better job of understanding the problems these people have and what we can do about it. We are also working to find out why some of these people appear to benefit from wearing hearing aids even though their basic ability to detect tones appears normal.
Gallun images
Our goal is best captured by our work to develop and evaluate Portable Automated Rapid Testing (PART) measures (shown in the left panel of the picture above) that are appropriate for expanding the diagnostic capabilities of the clinic and yet require minimal additional time and equipment. This project from the National Institutes of Health (NIH; R01 DC015051) is headed by Drs. Gallun, Seitz, and Dr. David Eddins (University of South Florida). 

The other main direction of the lab is also a collaboration with Dr. Seitz, who is the Director of Brain Game Center for Mental Fitness and Wellbeing. In 2017, Drs. Seitz and Gallun were awarded an NIH grant to study the effects of auditory training using an engaging game that can be played on the iPad (shown in the right two panels of the figure above). This game seeks to improve sensitivity to those same auditory stimuli that we believe are at the basis of the impairments we see in our participants. By providing an interesting and fun way to become more sensitive to spectral, temporal, and spatial cues, we hope to be able to improve the auditory function of those who play the game that will also lead to improvements in the real-world behaviors with which they struggle and complain that they cannot do. With these portable automated rapid tests, we hope to bring sophisticated auditory testing and training into the clinics and homes where they are needed. To experience the games and evaluations being developed by the team, including “Listen: An Auditory Training Experience” visit 

This work is extended by Drs. Gallun and Seitz’s next NIH grant (R01AG077725-02) which seeks to develop auditory training programs which could mitigate cognitive decline in aging populations. 

Dr. Gallun recently presented a Keynote Speech at the Acoustical Society of America in Chicago, IL about his research career. You can view the recorded presentation here and the accompanying slides here.

Current Research Projects

“Mediators and Moderators of Auditory Training”
Principal Investigator: Frederick J. Gallun, PhD
Co-Principal Investigator: Aaron Seitz, PhD
National Institutes of Aging, R01 AG077725, 2022-2027.

“Enhanced environments for psychophysical evaluation and training”
Principal Investigator: Frederick J. Gallun, PhD
Co-Principal Investigators: Chris Stecker, PhD and Aaron Seitz, PhD
National Institutes of Health, NIDCD, R01 DC018166, 2020-2025.

“Binaural Spectral Integration with Hearing Loss and Hearing Devices”
Principal Investigator: Lina Reiss, Ph.D.
Co-Investigators: Frederick Gallun, Ph.D., Michelle Molis, Ph.D.
National Institutes of Health, NIDCD, R01 DC013307, 2019-2024.

“Following the Sound of Music - Comparing the Effects of Music vs. Non-Music Based Interventions on Auditory and Cognitive Processing in Older Adults”
Principal Investigators: Aaron Seitz, Ph.D., Susan Jaeggi, Ph.D.
National Institutes on Aging, R61AG073668, 2021-2023.

Previous Research Projects

“Efficient diagnostic tools to evaluate central auditory dysfunction”
Principal Investigator: Frederick J. Gallun, PhD;
Co-Principal Investigators: David Eddins, PhD and Aaron Seitz, PhD
National Institutes of Health, NIDCD, Translational R01 2016-2021.

“Individualized Signal Processing Strategy to Enhance Hearing Healthcare: Phase II” 
Principal Investigator: Lee Krause, PhD
Co-Principal Investigators: David Eddins, PhD and Frederick Gallun, PhD
National Institutes of Health, NIDCD, SBIR 2017-2019.

“Brain Training for Central Auditory Dysfunction After Traumatic Brain Injury”
Principal Investigator: Aaron Seitz, PhD
Co-Principal Investigator: Frederick Gallun, PhD
National Institutes of Health, NICHD, R03 2017-2019.

"Blast exposed Veterans with auditory complaints"
Principal Investigator: Sheila Pratt, PhD
Co-Principal Investigators: Lindsey Jorgensen, PhD; Frederick Gallun, PhD
VA RR&D Merit Award 2015-2019.

“Acoustic and Perceptual Effects of WDRC Amplification”
Principal Investigator: Pamela Souza, PhD
Co-Investigators: Frederick Gallun, PhD and Richard Wright, PhD
National Institutes of Health, NIDCD, R01 2016-2021.

“Using Electrophysiology to Complement Speech Understanding-in-Noise Measures”
Principal Investigator: Curtis Billings, PhD
Co-Investigator: Frederick Gallun, PhD
National Institutes of Health, NIDCD, R01 2016-2021.

“Adaptation, learning and training for spatial hearing in complex environments”
Principal Investigator: Norbert Kopço, PhD
European Union Marie Curie Research and Innovation Staff Exchange, 2016-2018 

Selected Honors and Service

  • Elected Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America (2014)
  • Elected Fellow of American Speech-Language-Hearing Assocation (2020)
  • Editor-in-Chief (Hearing), Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research (2017-2021)
  • Member, Board of Directors, American Auditory Society (2020-2023)
  • Chair of American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association Journals Board (2021-2024)

Selected Recent Publications

Larrea-Mancera, E. S. L. de, Stavropoulos, T., Carrillo, A. A., Cheung, S., He, Y. J., Eddins, D. A., Molis, M. R., Gallun, F. J., Seitz, A. R. (2022) Remote auditory assessment using Portable Automated Rapid Testing (PART) and participant-owned devices. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 152(2), 807-819. 

Gallun, F. J., Coco, L., Koerner, T. K., Larrea-Mancera, E. S. L. de, Molis, M. R., Eddins, D. A., & Seitz, A. R. (2022). Relating Suprathreshold Auditory Processing Abilities to Speech Understanding in Competition. Brain Sciences, 12(6), 695.  

Theodoroff SM, Papesh M, Duffield TC, Novak M, Gallun FJ, King L, Chesnutt J, Rockwood R, Palandri M, Hullar TE. (2022) Concussion Management Guidelines Neglect Auditory Symptoms, Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine. 32(2):82-85. 

Huyck, J. J., Anbuhl, K. L., Buran, B. N., Adler, H. J., Atcherson, S. R., Cakmak, O., Dwyer, R. T., Eddolls, M., El May, F., Fraenzer, J.-T., Funkhouser, R., Gagliardini, M., Gallun, F. J., Goldsworthy, R. L., Gouin, S., Heng, J., Jawadi, Z., Kovacic, D., Kumar, R., Kumar, S., Lim, S.R., Chengeng, M., Nolan, L.S., Parbery-Clark, A., Pisano, D.V., Rao, V.R., Raphael, R.M., Reiss, L.R., Spencer, N.J., Tang, S.J., Tejani, V.D., Valli, M., Watkins, G.D., Wayne, R.V., Wheeler, L.R., White, S.L., Wong, V., Yuk, M.C., Ratnanather, J.T., Steyger, P. S. (2021). Supporting Equity and Inclusion of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Individuals in Professional Organizations. Frontiers in Education, 6, 417. 

Gallun, F.J. (2021) Binaural impairment in adults: A selected review of the literature. Frontiers in Neuroscience, Vol. 15, Article 610957.  

Larrea-Mancera, E. S., Stavropoulos, T., Hoover, E. C., Eddins, D. A., Gallun, F.J., & Seitz, A. R. (2020). Portable Automated Rapid Testing (PART) for auditory assessment: Validation in a young adult normal-hearing population. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 148(4) 1831-1851 

Gallun, F.J., Lewis, M.S., Papesh, M.A. (2017) “Auditory complaints among blast-exposed Veterans” Brain Injury. 31(9), 1183-1187. 

Papesh, M.A., Folmer, R.L., Gallun, F.J., (2017) “Cortical measures of binaural processing predict spatial release from masking performance” Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 11:124 

Gallun, F.J., Lewis, M.S., Folmer, R.L., Hutter, M., Papesh, M.A., Belding, H., Leek, M.R. (2016) “Chronic effects of exposure to high-intensity blasts: Results on tests of Central Auditory Processing” Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, 53(6): 705-720.

Selected Recent Presentations

Gallun, F. J., Seitz, A.R., Vallier, T.J., Lewis, D. (2018) “Designing rehabilitative experiences for virtual, mixed, and augmented reality environments” 175th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, Minneapolis, MN.

Gallun, F.J. (2017). “The future of auditory assessment and training” A series of four invited presentations at the Starkey Hearing Research Center, Berkeley, CA.

Gallun, F.J.
(2017) “Normative data for assessing performance on a rapid, automated test of speech-on-speech masking and spatial release from masking” 173rd Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, Boston, MA

Gallun, F.J. (2017) “Developing portable automated methods for the diagnosis and rehabilitation of auditory processing deficits” Invited Seminar, University College London Ear Institute, London, UK

Gallun, F.J. (2017) “Applying the state of the art in research and technology to train auditory processing with engaging computer games”, 3rd Annual Workshop on Cognitive Neuroscience of Auditory and Cross-modal Perception, P.J. Šafárik University, Košice, Slovakia

Gallun, F.J. (2017) “Spatial release from masking: Effects of age and hearing loss” Invited Seminar, MRC Hearing Institute, Glasgow, Scotland and Nottingham, England

Gallun, F.J. & Molis, M.R. (2016). “Spectral ripple discrimination by listeners with older ears: Modeling and psychophysics”. International Hearing Aid Conference, Lake Tahoe, CA.

Gallun, F. J.
(2015). Assessing auditory processing abilities in blast-exposed Veterans. AudiologyOnline.

Gallun, F. J. (2015). “Validating auditory complaints of blast-exposed Veterans” VA State of the Art Workshop on Traumatic Brain Injury 2015, Washington, DC

For additional information on research, presentations and publications, please contact Dr. Gallun