A recent independent study of the effectiveness of LACE training has been published in the journal, Cerebral Cortex (Song, et al, 2011). In this study, the authors describe behavioral improvements on speech in noise measures, and, for the first time, changes in neurophysiologic responses in participants that completed the LACE training.
More about the study:
Participants were normal-hearing young adults, all of whom were proficient in the English language, but half of the participants were non-native speakers of English. Participants were randomly assigned to the training group, or to a control group. Both groups completed baseline testing that included the QuickSIN, HINT, and auditory brainstem responses.
The training group completed the LACE protocol and showed significant improvements on the LACE training tasks, the QuickSIN, and the HINT. These participants also showed enhancements in the neurophysiologic representation of pitch cues in the presence of background noise. The control group did not show changes on any measures. This study is the first to show that short-term training with naturalistic stimuli, like those used in LACE, can improve the neural representation of speech cues that are critical for understanding speech in noise.
When discussing the study the authors contend: “…change in perception and neurophysiology likely resulted from the way in which LACE integrates cognitive factors into its auditory training exercises.” The authors stress the importance of LACE’s unique approach of integrating sensory and cognitive training to improve listening in difficult environments.