Restoration of spatial hearing in adult cochlear implant users with single-sided deafness

Ruth Y. Litovsky*, Keng Moua, Shelly Godar, Alan Kan, Sara M. Misurelli, Daniel J. Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years, cochlear implants (CIs) have been provided in growing numbers to people with not only bilateral deafness but also to people with unilateral hearing loss, at times in order to alleviate tinnitus. This study presents audiological data from 15 adult participants (ages 48 ± 12 years) with single sided deafness. Results are presented from 9/15 adults, who received a CI (SSD-CI) in the deaf ear and were tested in Acoustic or Acoustic + CI hearing modes, and 6/15 adults who are planning to receive a CI, and were tested in the unilateral condition only. Testing included (1) audiometric measures of threshold, (2) speech understanding for CNC words and AzBIO sentences, (3) tinnitus handicap inventory, (4) sound localization with stationary sound sources, and (5) perceived auditory motion. Results showed that when listening to sentences in quiet, performance was excellent in the Acoustic and Acoustic + CI conditions. In noise, performance was similar between Acoustic and Acoustic + CI conditions in 4/6 participants tested, and slightly worse in the Acoustic + CI in 2/6 participants. In some cases, the CI provided reduced tinnitus handicap scores. When testing sound localization ability, the Acoustic + CI condition resulted in improved sound localization RMS error of 29.2° (SD: ±6.7°) compared to 56.6° (SD: ±16.5°) in the Acoustic-only condition. Preliminary results suggest that the perception of motion direction, whereby subjects are required to process and compare directional cues across multiple locations, is impaired when compared with that of normal hearing subjects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-79
Number of pages11
JournalHearing Research
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Single sided deafness
  • Cochlear implant
  • Tinnitus
  • Sound localization
  • Bilateral


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