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Hearing and Donuts (Brain and Bagels) Seminar
February 12 @ 8:30 am - 9:30 am
Presenter: Gabriel Sobczak, Medical Student, American Otological Society Research Fellow (Litovsky lab), University of Wisconsin-Madison
Topic: Optical imaging with fNIRS: Investigating cortical integration of binaural stimuli in the auditory cortex and inferior frontal gyrus
Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is a novel neuroimaging technique that uses near-infrared (NIR) light to measure cortical brain activity. By employing optical probes, fNIRS is not impeded by ferromagnetic and electrical components of cochlear implant (CI) hardware, making it an ideal modality to examine cortical mechanisms of hearing deficits in CI users. In this presentation, I will discuss our fNIRS study examining the physiologic mechanisms of binaural hearing deficits as a result of receiving spectrally degraded information in one or both ears. I will also show evidence for a possible fNIRS signature of binaural integration in the auditory cortex and inferior frontal gyrus in young NH listeners. Results from these studies will be applied in future studies with listeners with SSD-CI and with BiCI, as binaural integration is a key component of understanding speech in complex listening environments.