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Gordon K.A.,Archies Cochlear Implant Laboratory
Cochlear implants international | Year: 2011

Bilateral cochlear implants (CIs) have been provided to children who are deaf in both ears with intent to promote binaural hearing. If it is possible to establish binaural hearing with two CIs, these children would be able to make use of interaural level and timing differences to localize sound and to distinguish between sounds separated in space. These skills are central to the ability to attend to one particular sound amidst a number of sound sources. This may be particularly important for children because they are typically learning and interacting in groups. However, the development of binaural processing could be disrupted by effects of bilateral deafness, effects of unilateral CI use, or issues related to the child's age at onset of deafness and age at the time of the first and second cochlear implantation. This research aims to determine whether binaural auditory processing is affected by these variables in an effort to determine the optimal timing for bilateral cochlear implantation in children. It is now clear that the duration of bilateral deafness should be limited in children to restrict reorganization in the auditory thalamo-cortical pathways. It has also been shown that unilateral CI use can halt such reorganization to some extent and promote auditory development. At the same time, however, unilateral input might compromise the development of binaural processing if CIs are provided sequentially. Mismatches in responses from the auditory brainstem and cortex evoked by the first and second CI after a long period of unilateral CI use suggest asymmetry in the bilateral auditory pathways which is significantly more pronounced than in children receiving bilateral implants simultaneously. Moreover, behavioural responses to level and timing differences between implants suggest that these important binaural cues are not being processed normally by children who received a second CI after a long period of unilateral CI use and at older ages. In sum, there may be multiple sensitive periods in the developing auditory system, which must be considered when determining the optimal timing for bilateral cochlear implantation. Source

Gordon K.A.,Archies Cochlear Implant Laboratory | Gordon K.A.,University of Toronto | Deighton M.R.,Archies Cochlear Implant Laboratory | Abbasalipour P.,Archies Cochlear Implant Laboratory | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

There are significant challenges to restoring binaural hearing to children who have been deaf from an early age. The uncoordinated and poor temporal information available from cochlear implants distorts perception of interaural timing differences normally important for sound localization and listening in noise. Moreover, binaural development can be compromised by bilateral and unilateral auditory deprivation. Here, we studied perception of both interaural level and timing differences in 79 children/adolescents using bilateral cochlear implants and 16 peers with normal hearing. They were asked on which side of their head they heard unilaterally or bilaterally presented click- or electrical pulse- Trains. Interaural level cues were identified by most participants including adolescents with long periods of unilateral cochlear implant use and little bilateral implant experience. Interaural timing cues were not detected by new bilateral adolescent users, consistent with previous evidence. Evidence of binaural timing detection was, for the first time, found in children who had much longer implant experience but it was marked by poorer than normal sensitivity and abnormally strong dependence on current level differences between implants. In addition, children with prior unilateral implant use showed a higher proportion of responses to their first implanted sides than children implanted simultaneously. These data indicate that there are functional repercussions of developing binaural hearing through bilateral cochlear implants, particularly when provided sequentially; nonetheless, children have an opportunity to use these devices to hear better in noise and gain spatial hearing. © 2014 Gordon et al. Source

Jiwani S.,University of Toronto | Papsin B.C.,Archies Cochlear Implant Laboratory | Papsin B.C.,University of Toronto | Gordon K.A.,University of Toronto | Gordon K.A.,Archies Cochlear Implant Laboratory
Human Brain Mapping | Year: 2016

Unilateral cochlear implant (CI) stimulation establishes hearing to children who are deaf but compromises bilateral auditory development if a second implant is not provided within ∼1.5 years. In this study we asked: 1) What are the cortical consequences of missing this early sensitive period once children reach adolescence? 2) What are the effects of unilateral deprivation on the pathways from the opposite ear? Cortical responses were recorded from 64-cephalic electrodes within the first week of bilateral CI activation in 34 adolescents who had over 10 years of unilateral right CI experience and in 16 normal hearing peers. Cortical activation underlying the evoked peaks was localized to areas of the brain using beamformer imaging. The first CI evoked activity which was more strongly lateralized to the contralateral left hemisphere than normal, with abnormal recruitment of the left prefrontal cortex (involved in cognition/attention), left temporo-parietal-occipital junction (multi-modal integration), and right precuneus (visual processing) region. CI stimulation in the opposite deprived ear evoked atypical cortical responses with abnormally large and widespread dipole activity across the cortex. Thus, using a unilateral CI to hear beyond the period of cortical maturation causes lasting asymmetries in the auditory system, requires recruitment of additional cortical areas to support hearing, and does little to protect the unstimulated pathways from effects of auditory deprivation. The persistence of this reorganization into maturity could signal a closing of a sensitive period for promoting auditory development on the deprived side. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

Gordon K.A.,Archies Cochlear Implant Laboratory | Gordon K.A.,University of Toronto | Tanaka S.,Archies Cochlear Implant Laboratory | Tanaka S.,University of Toronto | And 7 more authors.
Clinical Neurophysiology | Year: 2011

Objective: Auditory development is disrupted without normal hearing but might proceed to some extent depending on the type and onset of deafness. We therefore hypothesized that activity in the auditory cortex would be highly variable in children who are deaf. Methods: To answer this, activity in the deaf brain was evoked by electrical pulses from newly provided bilateral cochlear implants (CIs) in 72 children (n=144 responses). Results: Responses were categorized by visual inspection into 3 main types which were validated by principal component cluster analyses; 49% had a negative amplitude wave similar to that previously reported in pre-term infants, 26% were dominated by a positive peak typical of responses in young normal hearing children and experienced paediatric CI users, 25% were novel multi-peaked responses. No significant demographic differences, including duration and onset of deafness, were found between response types. However, children with severe biallelic mutations of GJB-2 showed predominately negative peak type responses (79%) as compared with their peers without these mutations who had a more equal distribution between cortical response types. Conclusion: Cortical development in children who are deaf is heterogeneous but can be better predicted when the genotype is known to be a GJB-2 mutation. Significance: Remediation of childhood deafness seeks to restore normal development and function of central auditory functions and thus may need to be tailored to account for effects specific to the aetiology of deafness. © 2010 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Source

Cushing S.L.,Archies Cochlear Implant Laboratory | Cushing S.L.,University of Toronto | Daly M.J.,Ontario Cancer Institute | Daly M.J.,University of Toronto | And 9 more authors.
Acta Oto-Laryngologica | Year: 2012

Conclusions: Flat-panel cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) is able to assess the trajectory of the implanted cochlear implant (CI) array. This is essential to determine specific effects of electrode design and surgical innovations on outcomes in cochlear implantation. CBCT is a non-invasive approach yielding similar data to histopathological analyses, with encouraging potential for use in surgical, clinical and research settings. Objectives: To examine the fidelity of CBCT imaging and custom 3D visualization in characterizing CI insertion in comparison to gold standard, histopathological examination. Methods: Eleven human temporal bones were implanted with the 'Straight Research Array' (SRA). Post-insertion, they were imaged with a prototype mobile C-arm for intraoperative CBCT. Post-acquisition processing of low-dose CBCT images produced high-resolution 3D volumes with sub-millimetre spatial resolution (isotropic 0.2 mm3voxels). The bones were resin impregnated and sectioned for light microscopic examination. Dimensional electrode characteristics visible in section images were compared with corresponding CBCT images by independent observers. Results: Overall, CBCT demonstrated adequate resolution to detect: 1) scala implanted; 2) kinking; 3) number of intracochlear contacts; 4) appropriate ascension of the array; and overall confirms ideal insertion. CBCT did not demonstrate adequate resolution to detect reversal of electrode contacts or basilar membrane rupture. © Informa Healthcare. Source

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