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Binaural hearing is critical for everyday communication. In the past two decades there has been a major shift towards providing CIs in both ears, recognizing that patients can potentially benefit from having the ability to localize sound and hear speech in noise. However, CIs were not designed as binaural devices that can easily capture binaural cues. The Binaural Hearing and Speech Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison focuses on three important areas of study: sound localization, hearing speech in noise, and listening effort. This paper provides an overview of how our lab is assessing and working towards true binaural hearing for CI users.
- To identify benefits related to bilateral cochlear implants or SSD-CI.
- To describe how bilateral benefits are assessed using behavioral outcomes and objective measures including pupillometry and fNIRS.
- To evaluate potential effects of plasticity and experience with bilateral hearing on functional ability in realistic listening situations