Spatial Release is a novel hearing assessment designed to address symptoms of auditory dysfunction related to hearing in noisy environments; in particular understanding a talker in an environment populated by other talkers. This procedure is based upon a speaker-on-speaker task developed by Gallun et al (Frontiers in Neuroscience, 2013) and can measure auditory thresholds for speech alone, speech in the presence of other talkers and the exert to which spatial auditory cues can rescue speech comprehensibility in the presence of other talkers.
Studies using this task have shown that it can dissociate effects of age from those of hearing loss:
Gallun, F. J., A. C. Diedesch, S. D. Kampel and K. M. Jakien (2013). “Independent impacts of age and hearing loss on spatial release in a complex auditory environment.” Front Neurosci 7: 252.
The task was designed by Frederick J. Gallun at the National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research and the program is a production of the University of California Riverside (UCR) Brain Game Center, a research unit focused on brain fitness methods and applications.