- This event has passed.
Hearing and Donuts (Brain and Bagels) Seminar
April 22 @ 8:30 am - 9:30 am
Presenter: Lukas Suveg, PhD student, Litovsky Lab, Communication Sciences & Disorders, Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin
Topic: Speech Understanding in Noise and Listening Effort among Cochlear Implant Recipients with Single-Sided Deafness
Cochlear implants (CIs) are becoming available to adult patients with single-sided deafness (SSD), allowing listeners to hear bimodally, with one acoustic ear and one CI (SSD-CI). These listeners’ hearing is characterized by profound asymmetry. We were interested in two related phenomena: (a) whether the CI improves speech understanding in the presence of background noise, and (b) whether listening effort, or cognitive load, is expended to a different degree when target speech is presented in quiet (0 deg, front), or with maskers that are either co-located (target and masker 0 deg) or spatially separated (target 0 deg, maskers ±90 deg). We compared these effects under two important listening configurations: with the acoustic ear only prior to the CI being implanted, and in the acoustic+CI (SSD-CI) condition, one year after CI activation. While participants completed the speech understanding task, we measured their dynamic, task-evoked changes in pupillary response as a measure of listening effort. Results suggest that, with maskers, speech understanding is better in the SSD-CI than acoustic ear only listening mode. Spatial separation induced improved speech understanding in both listening modes. However, on average, listeners expended more listening effort in the SSD-CI than the acoustic ear only listening mode. These findings suggest that integration of acoustic and electric hearing is possible and leads to improved outcomes but can be “costly” in the listening effort domain.
This work was supported by NIH-NIDCD grant R01DC003083 to Ruth Y. Litovsky, and in part by a core grant from the NIH-NICHD (U54 HD090256 to Waisman Center). In addition, funds from Med-EL provided partial travel support for participants. This study was part of a clinical trial sponsored by Med-El (https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02532972?cond=cochlear+implant+single+sided&draw=2&rank=7).