The Human Auditory Physiology Laboratory (HAPL) at Northern Illinois University is situated in the School of Allied Health and Communicative Disorders within the College of Health and Human Sciences. The lab is run by Dr. Matt Wilson, Assistant Professor in the Audiology Department. The work being conducted in the HAPL can be divided into two parts: laboratory-based research and community outreach.
Research in the HAPL focuses on questions related to the interaction between the brain and the auditory system during cognitive processing (e.g. learning, language) across the lifespan. At the moment, the lab is conducting research to determine how injuries to either system, such as those caused by concussions, affect the ability to attend to and remember auditory information efficiently using a technique known as Event-related Potentials, or ERPs for short.
Another aspect to the work being conducted in the HAPL is community outreach and raising awareness about the issue of concussions as a whole. As the founder of the HAPL, Dr. Wilson firmly believes that facilitating active involvement of the community in concussion research is a crucial first step towards ensuring that information can be effectively transferred from the playing field to other aspects of life.
Creating an avenue for coaches, parents, athletes, trainers, etc. to ask questions and learn about what is being done to expand the knowledge base regarding concussive and subconcussive impacts in athletics empowers them to respond accordingly when injuries occur, thereby preserving the overall health of athletes.
The HAPL has developed a partnership with local neuropsychologist, Dr. Cassady Wank, who specializes in the diagnosis, management, and treatment of concussions. Working together with Dr. Wank, the HAPL has gone out and delivered concussion seminars to interested parents and athletes in the DeKalb-Sycamore area. The seminar is designed to improve concussion education within the community at large and promote the research being conducted at Northern Illinois.
By combining these two components, the HAPL strives to help Northern Illinois University achieve its ultimate vision of becoming nationally recognized for quality research and service.
Human Auditory Physiology Lab
NIU Health, Wellness and Literacy Center
3100 Sycamore Road DeKalb, IL 60115
NIU Health, Wellness and Literacy Center 1115