Overview: In the Multicultural Lab, research is conducted to examine the effects of language background, aging, and environmental factors on auditory function. Specific projects address how bilingual/multilingual language background and language impairment impact speech perception in adults and children. Another project examines how aging and cigarette smoking influences central auditory function as evaluated through evoked potentials. The impact of secondhand smoke and noise are additional environmental variables that are examined in relation to hearing ability and tinnitus occurrence in adults. A broad goal of the Multicultural Research Lab is to examine how multicultural variables impact educational curricula for audiologists and speech pathologists with a focused interest in advancing culturally responsive clinical practice in the professions.  

Facilities: Our research is conducted in the lab and in the community with appropriate equipment including sound shielded booths (in lab), diagnostic and screening audiometers, noise measuring apps, and multichannel evoked potential systems. Additional objective auditory assessments are conducted with impedance and OAE equipment.

People: Ishara Ramkissoon, Ph.D., CCC-A is the laboratory director.

Collaborators: Dr. Mershen Pillay, Dr. Brenda Beverly

Graduate students: Payton Sibley, Maggie Gehm, Zachary Johnson

Selected Publications:

  • Ramkissoon, I. (2020). Cognition and Hearing Loss: Gender, Generational and Multilingual Considerations in Differential Diagnosis. In A.B. Hamilton, C.A. Ramos-Pizarro, J.F. Rivera-Perez, W. Gonzalez, & K. Beverly-Ducker (Eds.) Exploring Cultural Responsiveness: Guided Scenarios for Communication Science and Disorders Professionals (pp. 237-242 Rockville, MD: ASHA. [book chapter]
  • Pillay, M., & Ramkissoon, I. (2020). Civic Responsibility and Global Health Care: Audiology Service Learning Program in Africa. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, 5, 1075–1084.
  • Covert H., Ilunga Tshiswaka D., Ramkissoon I., Sisskin E., Lichtveld, M., & Wickliffe J. (2019). Assessing science motivation among high school students participating in a supplemental science program: The Emerging Scholars Environmental Health Sciences Academy. International Journal of Science Education, 41 (7), 2508-2523. Available https://doi.org/10.1080/09500693.2019.1689308
  • Money, L.E. & Ramkissoon I. (2019). Effects of Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Noise Exposure on Tinnitus Occurrence in College Students and Adolescents. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology. 31 (4), 286-291.
  • Ramkissoon, I. (2019). Ototoxicity and Neurotoxicity due to Environmental Contaminants: Audiologic Impact of Cigarette Smoking & Secondhand Smoke Exposure. In Gregg Colon (ed.) Ototoxicity: Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment (pp. 101-139). Nova Science Publishers, Hauppauge, NY. [ISBN: 978-1-53616-396-4], https://novapublishers.com/shop/ototoxicity-signs-symptoms-and-treatment/.
  • Ramkissoon, I. & Buchanan, K.R. (2018). Developing Health Promotion Strategies to Enhance Clinical Practice with consideration of Risk Factors for Age-Related Hearing Loss. Communication Disorders Quarterly, 39 (4), 501-12, First published online September 13, 2017.
  • Ramkissoon, & Batavia, M. (2018). Effect of Secondhand Smoke Exposure on Hearing and Auditory Evoked Potentials in Young Adults. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 29 (8), 685-695. First published online September 19, 2017.
  • Ramkissoon, , Estis, J.M., & Flagge, A.G. (2014). Digit speech recognition threshold (SRT) in normal hearing children aged 5-8 years. American Journal of Audiology, 23 (2), 182-189.
  • Ramkissoon, , & Beverly, B.L. (2014). Auditory Middle Latency Responses in Chronic Smokers Compared to Nonsmokers: Differential Effects of Stimulus and Age. Journal of Speech Language Hearing Research, 57 (1), 271-284. First published online 10 September 2013.
  • Ramkissoon, , & Cole, M. (2011). Self-reported hearing difficulty vs. audiometric screening in younger and older smokers and nonsmokers. Journal of Clinical Medicine Research, 3(4), 183-90.
  • Ramkissoon, , & Chambers, R.D. (2008). Effects of chronic and acute smoking on AMLRs in older and younger listeners. International Journal of Audiology, 47 (12), 715-23.
  • Ramkissoon, , Proctor, A., Lansing, C., and Bilger, R.C. (2002). Digit speech recognition thresholds for non-native speakers of English. American Journal of Audiology, 11(1), 22-27. [Editor’s Award “Best of 2002: Diagnostic Audiology, “The Hearing Journal, 2003].