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Prosem Lecture: The Ramifications of a Sub-optimal Electrode-to-neural Interface on the Use of Partial Information in Cochlear Implant Recipients
April 4, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Presenter: Bobby Gibbs, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Maryland, Center for Comparative and Evolutionary Biology of Hearing
Topic: The Ramifications of a Sub-optimal Electrode-to-neural Interface on the Use of Partial Information in Cochlear Implant Recipients
Listening to speech masked by competing sounds requires successful utilization of partial information. When a fluctuating masker is co-located with the target, amplitude dips in the masker result in brief “glimpses” of the target speech, partial information that benefits listeners with clinically normal hearing. The benefit in intelligibility from fluctuating compared to stationary maskers is called (monaural) release from masking. Presenting the masker at a different location than the target provides a benefit called spatial release from masking. Listeners who use a cochlear implant (CI) auditory prosthetic obtain less monaural and spatial release from masking than those with normal hearing. I will outline postdoctoral research that demonstrates how diminished monaural and spatial release from masking in CI listeners may be related to a different mechanism of extracting glimpses compared to normal hearing listeners. I will also present recent data on how asymmetry in the electrode-to-neural interface (differences across the ears in the preservation of neurons available for CI stimulation or the distance of those neurons from stimulating electrodes) impacts sensitivity to interaural time differences, cues that are important for spatial release from masking. Finally, I will discuss future directions and the ramifications of my research for tailored CI processing enhancements.
This work was supported in part by grants R01- DC015465 (Fogerty) R01-DC014948 (Goupell) R01-DC015798 (Goupell) and T32-DC00046 (trainee Gibbs) from the National Institute on Deafness and Communication Disorders of the National Institutes of Health.
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