Lina Reiss, PhD
Otolaryngology-HNS and Biomedical Engineering
Oregon Hearing Research Center
Binaural pitch fusion in hearing aid and cochlear implant users: Adults and children
In this talk, we will introduce a potential source of abnormal central auditory processing: binaural pitch fusion, in which different sounds are fused across the ears. Our recent findings show that as many as one in two hearing-impaired individuals with hearing aids and/or cochlear implants have abnormally broad binaural pitch fusion, in which tones or electrodes with pitches differing by up to 3-4 octaves between the ears are fused. This differs from normal-hearing listeners who only fuse sounds that differ by <0.1-0.2 octaves in pitch. I will also discuss the relationship of pitch fusion to speech fusion, interference, and difficulties with speech perception in noise in these individuals, demographic factors that may increase the risk of broad fusion, and recent data in children with hearing aids and cochlear implants.