Patrick N. Plyler, Ph.D.

See Also: Hearing Instrument Laboratory

Field Specialty

Diagnostic audiology, amplification, and aural rehabilitation. Current research projects are examining the effectiveness of digital hearing instruments as well as the efficacy of bone-conducted otoacoustic emissions.

Research Interests

My current research agenda consists of three pathways.  One pathway examines speech perception deficits in listeners with impaired hearing.  Recent studies conducted in collaboration with colleagues in our department have examined the effects of spectral shaping and aging on these perceptual deficits.  These data have implications for both hearing and aging research.  A second pathway examines the efficacy and effectiveness of digital hearing instruments.  Research from my laboratory has focused on determining the expansion parameters that alleviate noise complaints while preserving speech understanding.  The third pathway examines the ability to tolerate background noise while listening to speech.  Recent research conducted within my laboratory and within our department has focused on determining the mechanism responsible for noise tolerance as well as possible ways to improve noise tolerance for hearing instrument users.  Results from the collaborative efforts of our faculty have been featured in a special issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology. 

Education

  • B.S. East Carolina University (1992)
  • M.A. University of Tennessee (1993)
  • Ph.D. University of Tennessee (1998)

Recent Honors and Awards

  • 2012- Finalist, University of Tennessee Outstanding Teacher Award, University of Tennessee
  • 2009 - "The Best of Audiology Literature 2009" by H. Gustav Mueller in The Hearing Journal: Manuscript named in "Not Ready for PubMed." Plyler, P.N. (2009). Acceptance of background noise: Recent developments. Hearing Journal. 62:10-17.
  • 2009 Outstanding Student Research Poster Award; TAASLP: Alworth, L., Plyler, P., Humphrey, B., & Schay, N. (2009). Effects of receiver placement on occlusion and feedback with open canal hearing aids.
  • 2008 - “The Best of Audiology Literature 2007” by H. Gustav Mueller in The Hearing Journal: Manuscript named in “Best Quick Read.” Lowery, K., & Plyler, P.N.  (2007). The objective and subjective evaluation of low-frequency expansion in wide dynamic range hearing instruments.  Journal of the American Academy of Audiology.  18:641-654.

  • 2008 - Finalist, University of Tennessee Chancellor’s Excelling in Teaching Award, University of Tennessee.

  • 2007 - Nominee, University of Tennessee Chancellor’s Excellence in Teaching Award, University of Tennessee.

  • 2007 - Student Research Forum Award for Acceptance of Noise in Adult Cochlear Implant Users.  Presented to Junghwa Bhang by the American Academy of Audiology for research directed by Patrick N. Plyler.

  • 2006 - “The Best of Audiology Literature 2005” by H. Gustav Mueller in The Hearing Journal: Manuscript named in “Great for the Clinician.” Plyler, P.N., Hill, B., & Trine, T.D.  (2005a).  The effects of expansion on the objective and subjective performance of hearing instrument users. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology. 16:101-113.

  • 2006 - “The Best of Audiology Literature 2005” by H. Gustav Mueller in The Hearing Journal: Manuscript named in “Great for the Clinician.” Plyler, P.N., Hill, B., & Trine, T.D.  (2005b).  The effects of expansion time constants on the objective performance of hearing instrument users. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology. 16:614-621.

  • 2006 - “The Best of Audiology Literature 2005” by Brad A. Stach in The Hearing Journal: Manuscript named in “Most Thought Provoking.” Freyhaldenhoven, M., Thelin, J.W., Plyler, P.N., Nabelek, A.K., & Burchfield, S.B.  (2005). Effect of stimulant medication on the acceptance of background noise in individuals with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.  Journal of the American Academy of Audiology. 16:677-685.

Recent Grants and Supported Research

  • 2012 - National Institutes of Health, National Institute for Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (R01). “Using auditory-visual ANL and hearing aid technology to achieve hearing health.” Co-Principal Investigator: $1,309,000. (pending).
  • 2012 - American Academy of Audiology. “The effect of neuromaturation on oculomotor findings.” Application for vestibular research student investigator grant submitted by Steven Doettl. Faculty Mentor: $5,000 (pending).
  • 2011 - Bernafon. Evaluation of channel-free processing. Principal Investigator Patrick N. Plyler: $121,480 ($84,000 in equipment)
  • 2009 - Bernafon. Comparison of channel-free and multichannel hearing instruments. Principal Investigator Patrick N. Plyler:$341,500 awarded ($311,050 in equipment).
  • 2008 - Bernafon. “Evaluation of open fit and receiver in the ear hearing instruments.”  Principal Investigator Patrick N. Plyler: $190,090 awarded ($163,600 in equipment).

  • 2007 - National Institutes of Health, Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award. “The effects of noise reduction technology on the acceptance of background noise.”  Pre-doctoral fellowship submitted by Kristy J. Lowery.  Faculty Sponsors Patrick N. Plyler and Anna K. Nabelek: $54,977 award (pending).

  • 2005 - EmTech Laboratories.  “The effects of venting and low-frequency gain compensation on performance in noise with directional hearing instruments.  Principal Investigators Patrick N. Plyler and Melinda Freyhaldenhoven: $1,400 of equipment awarded.

  • 2005 - National Institutes of Health, Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award. “Effect of venting and low-frequency gain compensation on performance in noise with directional hearing instruments.”  Pre-doctoral fellowship submitted by Melinda C. Freyaldenhoven.  Faculty Sponsors Patrick N. Plyler and Anna K. Nabelek: $56,246 awarded.

  • 2005 - Starkey Laboratories.  “The effects of multi-channel expansion on the objective and subjective performance of hearing instrument users.” Principal Investigator Patrick N. Plyler: $120,000 of equipment awarded.

  • 2004 - Starkey Laboratories.  “The effects of expansion and expansion time constants on user benefit.”  Principal Investigators Patrick N. Plyler and Blair Hill: $100,000 of equipment awarded.

Representative Publications

  • Huebner, A., Lytle, S., Doettl, S., Plyler, P., & Thelin, J. (in press). Treatment of objective and subjective benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology.
  • Plyler, P.N., Bertges-Reber, M., Kovach, A., Galloway, B. & Humphrey, E. (in press February, 2013). Comparison of multi-channel wide dynamic range compression and channelfree processing in hearing aids. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology.
  • Plyler, P.N., Alworth, L.N., Rossini, T.P., Mapes, K.E. (2011). Effects of speech signal content and speaker gender on acceptance of noise in listeners with normal hearing. International Journal of Audiology. 50:243-248.
  • Chen, J., Hua, Z, Plyler, P.N., Cao, W., Chen, J. & Han, D. (2011). Development and evaluation of the Mandarin acceptable noise level test materials in China. International Journal of Audiology. 50:354-360.
  • Alworth, L.N., Plyler, P.N., Bertges, M. & Johnstone, P. (2010). The effects of receiver placement on probe microphone, performance and subjective measures with open canal hearing instruments. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology. 21:249-266.
  • Alworth, L.N., Plyler, P.N., & Bertges-Reber, M. (2009). Dunner Schallschlauch oder Ex-Horer? Horakustik. 10:38-42.
  • Plyler, P.N. (2009). Acceptance of background noise: Recent developments. Hearing Journal. 62:10-17.
  • Harkrider, A.W., Plyler, P.N., & Hedrick, M.S. (2009). Effects of hearing loss and spectral shaping on identification and neural response patterns of stop consonant stimuli in young adults. Ear and Hearing. 30:31-42.
  • Harkrider, A.W., Plyler, P.N., & Hedrick, M.S. (in press).  Effects of hearing loss and spectral shaping on identification and neural response patterns of stop consonant stimuli in young adults.  Ear and Hearing.

  • Plyler, P.N., Bahng, J., & von Hapsburg, D.  (2008) Acceptance of background
    noise in adult cochlear implant users.  Journal of Speech-Language Hearing Research.  51:502-515.

  • Freyhaldenhoven, M.C., Plyler, P.N., Thelin, J.T., & Muenchen, B.  (2008).  Acceptable noise level growth patterns in hearing aid users.  Journal of Speech-Language Hearing Research.  51:126-135.

  • Freyhaldenhoven, M.C., Plyler, P.N., Thelin, J.T., & Hedrick, M.S.  (2007).  The effects of speech presentation level on acceptance of noise in listeners with normal and impaired hearing.  Journal of Speech-Language Hearing Research.  50:878-885.

  • Lowery, K., & Plyler, P.N.  (2007).  The objective and subjective evaluation of low-frequency expansion in wide dynamic range hearing instruments.  Journal of the American Academy of Audiology.  18:641-654.

  • Plyler, P.N., Lowery, K., Hamby, H., & Trine, T.D. (2007).  The effects of multi-channel expansion on the objective and subjective performance of hearing instrument users.  Journal of Speech-Language Hearing Research.  50:15-24.

  • Plyler, P.N., Madix, S.G., Thelin, J.W., & Johnston, K.J.  (2007).  Contribution of high- frequency information to the acceptance of background noise in listeners with normal and impaired hearing.  American Journal of Audiology.  16:149-156.

  • Freyaldenhoven, M.C., Plyler, P.N., Thelin, J.T., & Burchfield, S.B.  (2006).  Acceptance of noise for monaural and binaural hearing aid fittings.  Journal of the American  Academy of Audiology.  17:659-666.

  • Freyhaldenhoven, M.C., Plyler, P.N., Thelin, J.T., Nabelek, A.K., & Burchfield, S.B.  (2006). The effects of venting and low-frequency gain compensation on performance in noise with directional hearing instruments.  Journal of the American Academy of Audiology.  17:168-178.

  • Harkrider, A.W., Plyler, P.N., & Hedrick, M.S.  (2006).  The effects of hearing loss and spectral shaping on identification and neural representation of stop consonant stimuli.   Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 120:915-925. 

  • Plyler, P.N., & Fleck, E.L. (2006).  The effects of high-frequency amplification on the objective and subjective performance of digital hearing instrument users with varying degrees of high-frequency hearing loss.  Journal of Speech-Language Hearing Research.  49:616-627.

  • Plyler, P.N., Trine, T.D., & Hill, B.  (2006).  The subjective evaluation of the expansion time constant in  single-channel wide dynamic range compression hearing instruments. International Journal of Audiology.  45:331-336.

Courses Taught

  • ASP 473- Introduction to Audiologic Assessment
  • ASP 543- Amplification Technology
  • ASP 544- Amplification for Adults with Hearing Impairment
  • ASP 573- Pediatric Audiology for Education Professionals
  • ASP 664- Advanced Seminar in Amplification
Patrick N. Plyler

Contact Information

Patrick N. Plyler, Ph.D.
Professor

Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology
University of Tennessee
423 S. Stadium Hall
Knoxville, TN 37996-0740

Phone: (865) 974-7588
Email: pplyler@utk.edu