Patrick N. Plyler, PhD

See Also: Hearing Instrument Laboratory

Field Specialty

Diagnostic audiology, amplification, and aural rehabilitation. Current research projects are examining advanced features in digital hearing instruments, acceptance of background noise, and suppression during balance assessment.

Research Interests

My current research agenda consists of three pathways.  One pathway examines the efficacy and effectiveness of advanced features in digital hearing instruments.  Research from my laboratory has focused on evaluating viable alternatives to compression in hearing aids. A second 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 invited papers on Audiology Online.  The third pathway examines the effects of visual and auditory stimulation on suppression of the vestibule-ocular reflex.


  • BS East Carolina University (1992)
  • MA University of Tennessee (1993)
  • PhD University of Tennessee (1998)

Honors and Awards

  • 2016 Award for Excellence in Amplification Research. American Academy of Audiology Convention, Phoenix, Arizona.
  • 2014 Journal of the American Academy of Audiology Editor’s Award for outstanding contributions to the peer-review of the journal.
  • 2013 University of Tennessee Outstanding Faculty Member, Awarded from The University of Tennessee Sorority and Fraternity Life Greek Awards
  • 2012 Finalist, University of Tennessee Outstanding Teacher Award, University of Tennessee

Recent Grants and Supported Research

  • 2016 Oticon. Evaluation of Dynamic AGCi.
  • 2015 American Academy of Audiology Foundation: Student Investigator Award.  Easterday, M. & Plyler, P.N.
  • 2012 Bernafon. Evaluation of Channel-Free Processing.
  • 2011 Bernafon. Comparison of Channel-Free and Multichannel Hearing Instruments.
  • 2010 Bernafon. Evaluation of Open Fit and Receiver in the Ear Hearing Instruments.


  • Doettl, S., Plyler, P.N., & McCaslin, D. (in press).  Artifact effects on pediatric oculomoter findings during videonystagmography: A retrospective analysis.  Journal of the American Academy of Audiology.
  • Easterday, M., Plyler, P.N., & Doettl, S. (in press).  Mental tasking and caloric-induced vestibular nystagmus utilizing videonystagmography.  American Journal of Audiology.
  • Plyler, P.N.  (2015).  The Acceptable Noise Level: Basics and Beyond.  Invited paper.  Audiology Online.
  • Plyler, P.N.  (2015).  The Acceptable Noise Level Test: Supporting Research and Clinical Insights  Invited paper.  Audiology Online.
  • Plyler, P.N, Hedrick, M., Rinehart, B. & Tripp, R. (2015).  Comparison of multichannel wide dynamic range compression and ChannelFree processing strategies on consonant recognition.  Journal of the American Academy of Audiology. 26(7), 607-14.
  • Plyler, P.N., Lang, R., Monroe, A., & Gaudiano, P.  (2015).  The effects of audio-visual stimulation on the acceptance of background noise in listeners with normal and impaired hearing.  Journal of the American Academy of Audiology.26(5), 451-460.
  • Doetll, S., Plyler, P., & McCaslin, D.  (2015).  Pediatric oculomotor findings during monocular videonystagmography. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology.26(8), 703-15.
  • Huebner, A., Lytle, S., Doettl, S., Plyler, P., & Thelin, J.  (2013).  Treatment of objective and subjective benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.  Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 24 (7), 600-606.
  • Lowery, K.J. & Plyler, P.N.  (2013). The effects of noise reduction technologies on the acceptance of background noise.  Journal of the American Academy of Audiology., 24 (8), 649-659.
  • Plyler, P.N., Bertges-Reber, M., Kovach, A., Galloway, B. & Humphrey, E. (2013). Comparison of multi-channel wide dynamic range compression and channelfree processing in hearing aids.  Journal of the American Academy of Audiology. 24:126-137.
  • 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.
Patrick N. Plyler

Contact Information

Patrick N. Plyler, Ph.D.

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

Phone: (865) 974-7588