Despite the advantages of listening with two ears, localization and spatial segregation of speech and noise remain difficult for patients who use two cochlear implants (CIs) or a CI in combination with a hearing aid (HA). The long-term goal of this research is to develop training methods that improve CI patients' binaural perception. For bilateral CI and bimodal patients, is it better to train with one ear or two? The answer may depend on the peripheral input to each ear, the specific deficit, and the listening task. The proposed study aims to evaluate the relative effectiveness of different monaural and binaural training approaches in bilateral CI and bimodal patients. We hypothesize that monaural training is better when listeners must adapt to a poor unilateral pattern from the CI; the most effective approach may depend on the nature of the unilateral deficit. Conversely, we hypothesize that binaural training is better when listeners must learn to combine redundant (similar CI+CI) or complementary (CI+HA) information; binaural training most likely targets somewhat different adaptation processes for bilateral CI and bimodal patients. Finally, we hypothesize that spatial training must target the very different listening demands of localization and spatial segregation of speech and noise; bilateral CI and bimodal patients most likely differ in their attention to lowfrequency cues for localization and segregation. The two Specific Aims - improving bilateral (Aim 1) and bimodal (Aim 2) binaural perception via auditory training - are highly innovative, in that the research seeks to identify the best training approach for different patient groups, as wel as understand how differences in the peripheral input may influence training outcomes. The conceptual framework is also innovative, in that the different training methods target different factors that may limit bilateral CI and/or bimodal performance: spectro-temporal resolution, tonotopic mismatch, and/or spatial perception. While the proposed experiments will evaluate different aspects of auditory training somewhat independently, there are areas of overlapping consideration that may be combined to advance auditory rehabilitation techniques for CI patients. These proposed experiments have great theoretical significance, as the results will shed light on auditory plasticity in electric hearing and in combined electric and acoustic hearing. The experiments have even greater clinical significance, as the results will provide strong evidence of the benefits of auditory training, hopefully leading to affordable, efficient an effective rehabilitation that CI patients can perform at home, using personal computers. We expect that these training approaches will generalize to improved performance outside the lab. As recent advances in implant technology seem to be reaching the point of diminishing returns, auditory training may provide the most cost-effective approach for CI patients to maximize the benefit of the implant device.

Public Health Relevance

The results will lead to important fundamental understanding of auditory plasticity in electric hearing and in combined electric and acoustic hearing. The proposed research is clinically relevant in that the findings will provide strong evidence of the benefits of auditory training; undoubtedly leading to affordable; efficient and effective rehabilitation that cochlear implant patients can perform at home; using personal computers.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
7R01DC004792-12
Application #
8795855
Study Section
Auditory System Study Section (AUD)
Program Officer
Donahue, Amy
Project Start
2001-05-01
Project End
2018-01-31
Budget Start
2013-10-01
Budget End
2014-01-31
Support Year
12
Fiscal Year
2013
Total Cost
$230,347
Indirect Cost
$80,771
Name
University of California Los Angeles
Department
Surgery
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
092530369
City
Los Angeles
State
CA
Country
United States
Zip Code
90095
Fuller, Christina D; Galvin 3rd, John J; Free, Rolien H et al. (2014) Musician effect in cochlear implant simulated gender categorization. J Acoust Soc Am 135:EL159-65
Li, Yongxin; Zhang, Guoping; Galvin 3rd, John J et al. (2014) Mandarin speech perception in combined electric and acoustic stimulation. PLoS One 9:e112471
Fuller, Christina D; Gaudrain, Etienne; Clarke, Jeanne N et al. (2014) Gender categorization is abnormal in cochlear implant users. J Assoc Res Otolaryngol 15:1037-48
Oba, Sandra I; Galvin 3rd, John J; Fu, Qian-Jie (2013) Minimal effects of visual memory training on auditory performance of adult cochlear implant users. J Rehabil Res Dev 50:99-110
Yoon, Yang-Soo; Shin, You-Ree; Fu, Qian-Jie (2013) Binaural benefit with and without a bilateral spectral mismatch in acoustic simulations of cochlear implant processing. Ear Hear 34:273-9
Oba, Sandra I; Fu, Qian-Jie; Galvin 3rd, John J (2011) Digit training in noise can improve cochlear implant users' speech understanding in noise. Ear Hear 32:573-81
Li, Tianhao; Fu, Qian-Jie (2011) Perceptual adaptation of voice gender discrimination with spectrally shifted vowels. J Speech Lang Hear Res 54:1240-5
Li, Tianhao; Fu, Qian-Jie (2010) Effects of spectral shifting on speech perception in noise. Hear Res 270:81-8
Sagi, Elad; Fu, Qian-Jie; Galvin 3rd, John J et al. (2010) A model of incomplete adaptation to a severely shifted frequency-to-electrode mapping by cochlear implant users. J Assoc Res Otolaryngol 11:69-78
Li, Tianhao; Galvin 3rd, John J; Fu, Qian-Jie (2009) Interactions between unsupervised learning and the degree of spectral mismatch on short-term perceptual adaptation to spectrally shifted speech. Ear Hear 30:238-49

Showing the most recent 10 out of 16 publications