April 28 Apr 28
Friday Fri

Meeting Details:

2:10PM-2:30PM - Refreshments
2:30PM-3:30PM - Seminar
Tung Auditorium, Biomedical Innovations Bldg – Room 1021

Host: Dr. Konstantina Stankovic

Impact of auditory deprivation and plasticity on binaural hearing in cochlear implant users

Ruth Litovsky, PhD, University of Wisconsin

Our lab studies children and adults who receive bilateral cochlear implants (BiCI), or adults with single-sided deafness receiving a CI in the deaf ear (SSD-CI). Bilateral hearing typically improves localization of sounds and segregation of speech from background noise compared with unilateral hearing. However, patients typically perform worse than normal hearing listeners. We use several approaches to understand mechanisms driving gaps in performance, including asymmetry in sensitivity to monaural information such as modulation detection. Further interaural mismatch in place of stimulation along the cochlea, age at onset of deafness and age at implantation contribute to recovery of binaural hearing. Because CI processors do not preserve binaural cues with fidelity, we use research processors to generate multi-channel binaural stimulation strategies that introduce different rates of stimulation across the electrode arrays, thereby preserving rates that are important for both binaural sensitivity and speech understanding. In addition, eye gaze studies reveal developmental factors that in decision-making that are not observed with measures of threshold. Finally, pupillometry studies provide insight into the impact of integrating inputs from two ears, whereby in some instances improved performance with two ears can be “costly” in the listening effort domain.


Ruth Litovsky, PhD, Academic Associate Dean, Natural and Biological Sciences, College of Letters & Sciences
Oros Family Chair
Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders
University of Wisconsin – Madison, USA

Ruth Litovsky, PhD, is Oros Family chair in the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and Associate Dean in the college. She directs the Binaural Hearing and Speech Lab at the Waisman Center, has a joint appointment in the Department of Surgery / Division of Otolaryngology and is faculty member of the Neuroscience Training Program.  Professor Litovsky received her BA and MA degrees from Washington University in St. Louis, PhD in 1991 in Developmental Psychology. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in 1994 in Neurophysiology (auditory neuroscience). Her ongoing research program has been funded since 1995 by grants from NIH-NIDCD, in addition to grants from smaller foundations and collaborative projects with cochlear implant companies. She has published over 150 papers and book chapters based on her research which focuses hearing abilities covering lifespan of humans to include infants and elderly adults. Her research program is dedicated to understanding hearing restoration with cochlear implants, in particular the impact of bilateral implantation. The lab uses a combination of approaches including psychophysics and reverse engineering to explore how binaural hearing can be restored cochlear implant users with fidelity, pupillometry and eye gaze measures to examine ‘real time’ processing of information and listening effort during perceptual tasks; and more recently functional neuroimaging to investigate neural signatures for bilateral benefits and cognitive load. She has received several awards, including the Silver Medal from the Acoustical Society of America, Carhart Memorial Lecture of the Auditory Society, Elected Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, and Fulbright Senior Fellow.  She is the Past-President of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology (2020-2021), and recently chaired the 2022 Auditory System Gordon Research Conference. Professor Litovsky serves on numerous national and international grant review panels and editorial boards.


Stanford University School of Medicine
240 Pasteur Dr. Rm 1021
Palo Alto, CA 94304

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Stanford University School of Medicine

240 Pasteur Dr. Rm 1021
Palo Alto, CA 94304
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