We have three focus areas:
1. How does binaural fusion differ with hearing impairment compared to normal-hearing, and how does this affect speech perception, especially in background noise?
Our recent studies show that individuals who wear hearing aids and/or cochlear implants often fuse more broadly across frequencies, leading to less precise fusion of mismatched spectral information across ears. We are investigating how this abnormal fusion arises in children and adults, and the clinical implications for speech perception, especially in noisy environments.
2. How can we improve hearing device programming to optimize speech perception?
One area in need of clinical guidelines is programming of cochlear implants and hearing aids for people who wear both types of devices. Our goal is to determine how the hearing aid and the cochlear implant should be programmed to derive optimal synergy and benefit from the combination of the two.
3. How can we improve residual hearing preservation in cochlear implantation, for Hybrid or electroacoustic stimulation?
Improved hearing preservation has been shown to improve outcomes in cochlear implant patients, especially for speech perception in noise. We use both clinical and basic science approaches to understand the mechanisms of hearing loss after cochlear implantation, and develop new electrode designs, stimulation strategies, surgery techniques, or therapeutics to improve hearing preservation.