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Buckeye Center for Hearing and Development

We are a consortium of five research teams working to answer varying questions concerning how hearing loss/auditory deprivation affects individuals from infancy thru adulthood.


Current Research Projects

Research with young children and families:

BabyTalk: Infant-Directed Speech and Language Development
PI: Derek Houston, Ph.D.

ABLE: Executive Functioning and Psychosocial Outcomes
PI: Irina Castellanos, Ph.D.

PIE: Parent-Infant Eye Tracking during Language Learning
PIs: Derek Houston, Ph.D. & Irina Castellanos, Ph.D.


Research with adult cochlear implant recipients:

Cochlear Implantation during Vestibular Schwannoma Removal or During Labyrinthectomy Surgery for Treatment of Meniere's Disease
PI: Oliver Adunka, M.D.; Co Investigators: Michael Harris, M.D., W. Jason Riggs, Au.D., & Laura Stephens, Au.D.

Development of Evaluation of Speech Processing Strategies for Cochlear Implants
PIs: Frederic Apoux, Ph.D. & Eric Healy, Ph.D. (OSU Speech and Hearing Science)

Effects of Aural Rehabilitation in Adults with Cochlear Implants
PIs: Aaron C. Moberly, M.D. & Christin Ray, Ph.D., CCC-SLP (OSU Speech and Hearing Science)

Variability in Speech Recognition for Adults with Cochlear Implants: Bottom-up and Top-down Factors
PI: Aaron C. Moberly, M.D.; Mentor: Derek Houston, Ph.D.


Other Otologic Research:

Auto-Scope: Automated Otoscopy to Diagnose Ear Pathology
PIs: Metin Gurcan, Ph.D. (Biomedical Informatics), Ted Teknos, M.D., & Aaron C. Moberly, M.D.

Intra-operative Measures of Auditory Function during Lateral Skull Base Surgery
PI: Oliver Adunka, M.D.; Co-Investigator: Michael Harris, M.D., W. Jason Riggs, Au.D., & Laura Stephens, Au.D.



Who We Are

Oliver Adunka, M.D.

Dr. Adunka's early work directly addressed the topic of how cochlear implant electrode insertion can be performed while preserving hearing.  He was able to demonstrate that certain electrode properties and insertion methods were associated with less intracochlear damage which ultimately resulted in the development of new cochlear implant electrodes with the goal of causing less insertional trauma during implantation.

More recently, Dr. Adunka's research has focused on how electrophysiologic parameters can be utilized to optimize electrode position during cochlear implantation. Specifically, together with Douglas Fitzpatrick, PhD, he was able to demonstrate the feasibility of such a system both in an animal model as well as in translational projects during human cochlear implantation.

Currently, Dr. Adunka's research together with Jason Riggs, AuD, focuses on the mechanisms of hearing loss and the time-line of surgery-related hearing loss during variety of lateral skull base surgeries.  One aim utilizes electrocochleographic measures to detect physiologic trauma of the inner ear during the placement of cochlear implants.  Another effort employs a variety of electrophysiologic techniques to measure timing of complete hearing loss during destructive ear surgeries such as labyrinthectomies for treatment of Meniere's or during surgery for resection of acoustic neuromas. By understanding how the hearing organ is damaged during these surgeries will ultimately lead to improvement in hearing preservation and speech perception outcomes for patients undergoing different types of ear surgery.


Frederic Apoux, Ph.D.

The mission of Dr. Apoux’s research program is to study the mechanisms underlying the processing of speech by the normal and the impaired auditory system. A first objective is to determine which acoustic cues are most important for speech perception. A second objective is to determine how these cues are affected by the presence of external or internal (e.g., hearing impairment) noise. The third objective is to propose improved and/or innovative speech processing strategies for hearing aids and cochlear implants susceptible to attenuate or eliminate the detrimental effect of noise.


Irina Castellanos, Ph.D.

Dr. Castellanos’ research team investigates neurocognitive development in infants, children, and adolescents following pediatric hearing loss and subsequent cochlear implantation. The team seeks to understand the dynamic interplay between the brain, body, and environment, and focuses on three areas of research involving the development of: (1) emotional and behavioral regulation, (2) conceptual thinking and reasoning, and (3) embodied visual attention during early language learning. Research questions are addressed using questionnaire and performance-based assessments of neurocognition, and include the use of eyetracking technology.


Derek Houston, Ph.D.

Dr. Houston’s research team investigates speech perception, language, and cognitive development in infants and children with and without hearing loss. Current efforts include an NIH-funded project to investigate the quantity and quality of speech that deaf and hard-of-hearing infants receive in their homes before and after receiving a cochlear implant or a hearing aid and its effects on language development. Another project investigates how auditory deprivation and subsequent cochlear implantation affects infants’ joint attention and novel word learning while interacting with their parents.                                                            


Aaron Moberly, M.D.

The mission of our lab is two-fold: first, to examine the auditory, linguistic, and cognitive factors that contribute to variability in speech recognition outcomes for adults with cochlear implants. Understanding these sources of variability should help us to predict outcomes preoperatively and to explain why some individuals do not perform well with an implant. Second, we aim to develop novel rehabilitation interventions for adults with cochlear implants, targeting auditory, linguistic, and cognitive skills. We predict that individualized rehabilitation plans that are tailored to individual patients' needs will optimize speech recognition outcomes.