Lisa S. Davidson, MS, PhD

Associate Professor of Otolaryngology

Washington University in St. Louis (WU)

My overall research goals are to specify how perceptual and cognitive abilities interact to determine relative benefits of sensory devices for children with moderate to profound sensorineural hearing loss. We are testing a proposed model of language acquisition that is based on the idea that receptive vocabulary in hearing-impaired children requires the efficient operation and integration of sensory, perceptual, and cognitive abilities. Children with cochlear implants or digital hearing aids are tested on measures of speech perception, ease of listening, working memory, novel word learning, verbal learning and vocabulary size. We will also examine how sensory device use, speech perception skill, memory, and learning over time affect the gap in language skill between normal hearing and hearing-impaired children. An essential component of our research is developing testing and fitting protocols that assure that children with cochlear implants and hearing aids have devices that are optimized for audibility.