What is it about?
Most people can easily understand speech in one ear and ignore speech in the other. We found that this is also the case for most people who use cochlear implants, bionic auditory prostheses that partially restore hearing to people with profound hearing loss. (We did find two interesting exceptions where the cochlear-implant users could attend to their right ear, but not their left; we did not have a good explanation for this.) However, when speech was presented from different locations in space, the cochlear-implant users did not show a benefit of spatial separation, unlike people with typical acoustic hearing.
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Why is it important?
Background noise is the worst problem that cochlear-implant users attempt to deal with. This work is important because we are trying to understand why providing two cochlear implants does not restore a better ability to handle background noise.
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This page is a summary of: Spatial attention in bilateral cochlear-implant users, The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, September 2016, Acoustical Society of America (ASA), DOI: 10.1121/1.4962378.
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