ROXIE and WILLOW – Boston

Builders –Brian J. Fligor, Sc.D., CCC-A, Director of Diagnostic Audiology
Children’s Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School at Children’s Hospital
with Sandra Levey and Tania Levey. Pictured below are the Northeastern University students who helped me build Willow and Roxie (left to right): Erin Burns, Emily Lynch, Lauren Cardello, Shoshannah Kantor, and Jennifer Kort

Roxie, the gold-colored mannequin with black hair and red highlight with red pez shirt, is the clubbing-rave girl who is currently deployed in New York City for a research project estimating noise dose in passers-by at the entrance to the CUNY campus entrance. My collaborators are an SLP (Sandra Levey, PhD) and a psychologist (Tania Levey, PhD), both very interested in race and ethnicity in health behaviors. The notion that women don’t have exposures as high as men may be appropriate only in the Caucasian population, and these gender differences may not hold in different demographics.

Her sister, Willow, the silver-colored mannequin with blonde hair, is a hippie. We use her for community outreach and perhaps for some research projects here in Boston. Most recently, I took her to a shelter for teenage mothers, and gave a talk during “life skills” seminars the teens/mothers are required to attend to live in the center. According to the social worker/director of the program, the moms would regularly have their babies listen to their music, putting the earbud in their child’s ear. Not that that’s inherently a bad thing, just more discussing aspects of how their ear is different, what they need to use their hearing for, etc. etc.

“going to insane lengths to calibrate them” included inserting probe tubes thru the side of the Westone ear, 2 mm in front of the SLM microphone thru grommets I found that precisely had the same inner diameter as the outer diameter an ER7c probe tube… I then spent/wasted 10 hours on a Saturday in my basement running both an Audioscan Verifit and an ER7c into Cool Edit to collect swept tones, pink noise, and music samples, all to convince myself a 5 dB correction factor was correct for both earbuds and supra-aural earphones. I think it was like 5.3 dB for supra-aurals (SLM to the free-field equiv) and 4.9 dB for the earbud.

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