Being able to communicate with other people in noisy environments is essential to maintaining social and family relationships, participating in society, and engaging in leisure/recreational activities with others. People with even mild hearing impairments report increased difficulty hearing speech in background noise and appear to be at increased risk of negative psychosocial health outcomes. As people age, and the fidelity of the auditory input deteriorates, top-down cues to speech comprehension become increasingly important. My primary research interest is to identify sources of information that young and older people can exploit to help them predict what they are about to hear, to facilitate their understanding of degraded, noisy speech. For example, one current study explores how the familiarity of a voice can aid in understanding speech when a competing talker is present. In other studies, my students are using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to study the brain organization supporting speech comprehension, speech production, and hearing.