What is it about?

We carefully sequentially loudness balanced single electrodes across the ears in bilateral cochlear-implant users. Unexpectedly, when played simultaneously, sounds were not centered in the head.

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Why is it important?

Loudness is a standard tool for programming a cochlear implant. This study shows that loudness may have little to do with spatial hearing in cochlear-implant users. Therefore, bilateral cochlear-implant programming tools may need to be based on where sounds are located, not how loud they are.


Loudness is the gold standard in the field to calibrate sounds in cochlear-implant experiments. Just because two sounds are equally loud, there is little reason to think that they have the same neural encoding in each ear.

Dr. Matthew J Goupell
University System of Maryland

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Bilateral Loudness Balancing and Distorted Spatial Perception in Recipients of Bilateral Cochlear Implants, Ear & Hearing, January 2015, Wolters Kluwer Health, DOI: 10.1097/aud.0000000000000174.
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