Jill B. Firszt, MS, PhD

Professor of Otolaryngology

Washington University in St. Louis (WU)

Current clinical research includes longitudinal studies with adults and children who receive bilateral cochlear implants. For individuals who receive sequential implants, we study the impact of the first implanted ear on the benefit and rate of improvement obtained from a cochlear implant received at a later time in the opposite ear. In individuals with unilateral hearing loss, we investigate the effects of asymmetric hearing on patient outcomes using both behavioral techniques and physiologic imaging tools (e.g., fMRI and measures of connectivity). In addition, studies are in process to examine whether hearing-impaired individuals with significant asymmetrical hearing loss can effectively utilize a hearing aid in one ear and a cochlear implant in the other. Another research area assesses the relation between behavioral outcomes with cochlear implants and neurophysiologic responses that may underlie processing of speech. This line of research combines results from listening tasks and neurophysiologic recordings in the same individual.