2nd Global Conference on CAPD: Another Big Success

The 2nd Global conference on CAPD entitled “Clinical Populations with CAPD, What We Know and What Lies Ahead” was held at the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) Meeting in Orlando on March 28-29th. Approximately 220 attended to hear some of the foremost researchers and clinicians in the world discuss CAPD and related issues. Program chair Gail Chermak and Conference co-chairs Frank Musiek and Doris Bamiou assembled a highly relevant and interesting agenda. In addition 33 posters were presented covering current issues on CAPD. Similar to the highly successful 2012 conference, this year’s program attendees, poster presenters and speakers represented countries from all over the world.

On Friday night, the first keynote presentation was delivered by Ken Hugdahl from the Department of Biological and Medical Psychology, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway. World renowned for his work on dichotic listening, Dr. Hugdahl presented a review of his dichotic listening work including findings in various clinical populations. He also emphasized the importance of interaction for both bottom up and top down processing for the understanding of dichotically presented stimuli.

Next, Dr. Nicci Campbell from London introduced the opening of the poster session where attendees and faculty mixed to discuss the new research presented.

At 8:00 Saturday morning another keynote address presented by Paula Tallal, from the Salk Institute and the University of California at San Diego introduced a full day of activities. Dr. Tallal reviewed some of her early work on rapid auditory processing and showed how it developed into key methodologies used in auditory training. She emphasized the value of auditory training and how it results in both behavioral and physiological changes in the auditory system. Dr. Tallal was followed by Dr. Shivashankar from the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, in Banglore, India. Dr. Shivashankar provided an intriguing clinical research presentation revealing the value of tests of central auditory function in a wide variety of clinical populations. He finished his lecture with a fascinating case of pure word deafness.

The next speaker was Vivian Illiadou, from Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece. Dr. Illiadou reported on her research and clinical work on CAPD in individuals with mental health issues. This emerging area has revealed that some kinds of mental health problems such as schizophrenia have strong links to deficits on certain auditory processing tests. Mridula Sharma, from Macquarie University in Sydney Australia was the next researcher to speak. Dr. Sharma discussed the value of utilizing auditory evoked potential measurements to help define children with CAPD. She also presented new data on how these evoked potential measurements were used to evaluate changes secondary to auditory training in children with CAPD.

Dr. Harvey Dillon from the National Acoustic Laboratories in Sydney, Australia followed with his research on over 600 children from the Australian Hearing CAPD service with spatial processing disorders and dichotic deficits. He discussed how recruitment criteria, cognitive function, and the severity of otitis media can influence the detection of these disorders.

Following lunch Dr. Eliane Schochat from the University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil gave a talk concerning the importance of utilizing electrophysiological procedures along with behavioral tests to diagnose and treat patients with central auditory processing deficits due to left temporal lobe epilepsy. She also discussed the encouraging advances being made in patients with traumatic brain injury after participating in formal auditory training. Dr. Frederick Gallun from the National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research in Portland, Oregon presented next on his research from two studies involving the significant central auditory processing difficulties of military service members with blast exposure, both recently and over the past decade.

Gail Chermak, from Washington State University, continued the CAPD discussion with a beautiful review of the underlying constructions that have led to Chermak and Musiek’s comprehensive intervention for CAPD.  The extensive research in this area has shown significant contributions of cognition and audition to central auditory processing, which was highlighted during the discussion of efficient and effective intervention.  Suzanne Purdy, from The University of Auckland in New Zealand, followed Dr. Chermak’s presentation with a review of current and future approaches for the treatment of CAPD.  Dr. Purdy emphasized the importance of considering multiple treatment approaches based on the complexity of the auditory and cognitive links in CAPD.

The 2nd Global conference offered a wide array of topics that are timely in the investigation of CAPD. The attendees were pleased with the topics and the presenters. This meeting also reflects the world wide interest in CAPD. As interest grows there will be an ever greater demand for services and continuing education. It is more than fair to say that both the faculty and participants look forward to future conferences on CAPD.

It should be noted that the Global conference was kindly supported by the AAA and especially the hard work by Lisa Yonkers.  Also, a sincere thanks to The Royal Arch Research Assistance and Plural Publishers for their continued support of CAPD and this conference.

About Pathways

Pathways is both a column that covers topics related to CAPD and Neuroaudiology and a society for people interested in central auditory disorders that regularly meets to discuss these issues.

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