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 children who use cochlear implants, bionic auditory prostheses that partially restore hearing to people with profound hearing loss. (We did find some interesting exceptions where the cochlear-implant users could attend to their right ear, but not their left; this asymmetry may be because they waited too long to get their second implant.) However, when speech was presented from different locations in space, the children with cochlear implants 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: Auditory Attention and Spatial Unmasking in Children With Cochlear Implants, Trends in Hearing, January 2020, SAGE Publications,
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