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Neural Predictors of Speech Perception Outcomes in Adults with Cochlear Implants

Research Team


Principal Investigator: Yingying Wang

Funding Information

Funding Agency: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)

Award Date: Jul 1, 2019

End Date: Jun 30, 2022


Although cochlear implants (CIs) can significantly improve auditory speech perception, their success rate is highly variable across CI users.

The project will identify pre-surgical neural and behavioral measures that predict post-surgical CI outcomes and make clear how brain reorganization occurs before and after implantation, which will ultimately support better post-surgical planning and the optimization of aural rehabilitation plans for CI candidates.

A cochlear implant (CI) is a complex electronic device that can effectively restore hearing in individuals with severe to profound sensorineural HL (SNHL). The CI does not restore normal hearing and is very different from a hearing aids which amplify sounds. Instead, it provides a useful representation of sounds through direct stimulation of the auditory nerve. Thus, the viability of the auditory nerve is crucial for the success of CI device. The clinical dilemma is the determination of CI candidacy in individuals with substantial residual hearing who have not been considered typical CI candidates. Additionally, there is still a large portion of variance in CI outcomes that remains unexplained. 

This study aims to use brain images to identify neural predictors of outcomes for a cochlear implant. The neural predictors may provide a more comprehensive understanding of individual variability in CI outcomes and thus more reliably inform prognosis.

Academic Intervention & Learning

From left, student workers Randa Ismail and Grace Carlson, and Yingying Wang, principal investigator, review data.
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