Hearing Healthcare

Hearing loss is incredibly prevalent, with one-in-three adults over the age of 65 suffering from disabling hearing loss, and even larger numbers experiencing mild or moderate loss. Along with collaborators at Northwestern University, University of Texas and the Mayo Clinic we are investigating health care for this growing population of individuals with hearing loss. We are seeking to improve access to care by removing barriers to entry, such as the medical waiver needed to purchase a hearing aid. Furthermore, we are developing research that will address the gaps in knowledge about hearing health care, focusing particularly on unrecognized barriers to

Hearing Through Life

From before birth through every day of our lives, we count on our acute sense of hearing for life-critical functions. In this line of work we study the maturation and aging of hearing through the human lifespan. In particular we are interested in the changes in inner ear (cochlea) function. Over the last few years we have collaborated with developmental scientist Carolina Abdala (University of Souther California) to study the maturation of inner ear function in premature and term infants. In another collaboration with Northwestern colleague Jonathan Siegel, we have evaluated changes in inner ear function during middle age. While

Efferent Modulation of OAEs

An extensive neural network connects the auditory cortex downward to various parts of the peripheral auditory system. A portion of this neural network at the brainstem connects and reflexively affects outer hair cell activity in the cochlea thereby modulating cochlear gain. Cortical neural networks further influence the working of this reflexive neural mechanism providing cortical control of the peripheral hearing organ. We study this network and its effect on cochlear gain using otoacoustic emissions and other tools. Much of this work is at the stage of basic discovery of the phenomenology at this time but we are actively interested in