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My lab uses EEG brain imaging methods to study patient populations such as cochlear implant users. EEG or “brain waves,” are used to understand the neural mechanisms of how sound is processed through the implant and then perceived.

A major focus of the lab is cochlear implants. The cochlear implant is a modern-day medical miracle. It allows people who are deaf to regain hearing by stimulating the auditory nerve by creating neural impulses that reach the brain and lead to sound perception. People with cochlear implants may hear well in quiet settings but experience difficulties in everyday listening environments, such as following a conversation during a cocktail party. The goal of this research is to understand better the brain mechanisms of hearing with a cochlear implant and use this knowledge to improve outcomes after cochlear implantation.
The lab also studies sensory and cognitive factors related to hearing. Hearing is both a peripheral (ear) and cognitive (brain) process. The cognitive aspects of hearing, such as attention and memory, become crucial when listening in noisy environments. This is especially true for older people or those with hearing impairment. Therefore another focus of the lab is to study the neural mechanisms associated with attention and working memory. The goal of this research is to dissociate sensory and cognitive aspects of impaired hearing and provide clinicians with improved tools and strategies for rehabilitation.


Learn about EEG and hearing (youtube video by Philip Gilley)


EEG  signal analysis: