Dr Helen Henshaw

Helen Henshaw

Senior Research Fellow (Mild-to-moderate hearing loss)

Helen studied at the University of Leicester, gaining her PhD in Cognitive Psychology in 2011. She began her translational research career at NIHR Nottingham Hearing Biomedical Research Unit (BRU) in September 2009, working alongside clinical and academic colleagues in the Mild-to-moderate for hearing loss team. Their research aims to explore ways to make things easier for hearing aid users and to develop other ways of improving support for people with hearing loss. Current projects in the Mild-to-moderate hearing loss team aim to evaluate the benefits of; auditory and cognitive training for people with hearing loss, effective patient education, patient motivation and enhanced patient–clinician relations.

One of the main issues faced by people with hearing loss is a reduced ability to understand speech in noisy environments. Helen’s current research aims to identify whether everyday listening abilities can be improved through active engagement with sounds (auditory training) or memory tasks (cognitive training). Tests of speech intelligibility, cognition and communication are being assessed pre- and post-training to identify whether generalisable benefits to everyday listening can be gained as a result of training.

Expertise summary

Helen is a chartered research psychologist with an interest in the cognitive mechanisms underlying memory and attention for perceptual (auditory and visual) stimuli. Helen's PhD research, supervised by Prof. Mark Lansdale (University of Leicester) and funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), focused on quantifying the accuracy and precision of long-term memories for the spatial arrangement of objects in real-world images. This research offered evidence to support the use of object location memory as a query language for the retrieval of images from image databases. During her PhD, Helen gained experience in eye tracking and mathematical modelling techniques.

Helen has developed expertise in presbycusis (age-related hearing loss), adult aural rehabilitation, perceptual learning, auditory training, working memory training, and audiological and cognitive assessment of adults with hearing loss. Helen’s current research spans health service delivery, research priority setting, clinical trials, the development and assessment of novel interventions, and systematic literature reviews.

Helen is a member of the British Society of Audiology (BSA), the Association for Research in Otolaryngology (ARO), an Associate of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and a Chartered Member of the British Psychological Society (CPsychol) Cognitive Section.


Click here to view a list of Dr Helen Henshaw's publications.