The Development of Sensitivity to Electrical Stimulation with Cochlear Implants

Condition: Severe hearing loss and/or deafness

What is the goal of this study?

We want to find out how quickly infants with cochlear implants are able to hear sound differences. We want to know how this relates to their ability to learn to speak later. We want to improve how hearing is measured in infants with cochlear implants to help those who are not hearing as well much sooner than is possible currently.

Many infants who receive a cochlear implant within the first 2 years of life learn to speak at a normal rate. Others have significantly delayed speech. Infants’ ability to hear differences in pitch and loudness of sounds is an important factor in their ability to understand speech, but we cannot currently measure this in the clinic.

What happens in the study? 

If you choose to take part in this study, your child would come to 4 to 10 study visits over 2 to 5 months. Each visit lasts 1 to 2 hours with breaks.
During each visit, your child would:

  • Sit on your lap in a room with one of our study helpers who will engage your child in age-appropriate play.
  • Wear their cochlear implant with the sound processor and hear sounds presented at a comfortable loudness from a loudspeaker in the room.
  • Be observed by researchers outside the room who are looking through a window. As the loudspeaker sounds change, the researchers will be watching your child to see if your child noticed the change.

After your child has 12 months of experience with their cochlear implant, we will:

  • Compare your child’s results from their research visit with results from your child’s routine speech and language assessment completed at Seattle Children’s Hospital. (We will request an additional visit if the routine speech and language assessment has not been completed.)

Scheduling is flexible! We can schedule your visit for any day, including Saturdays and Sundays. We can schedule the study visits on the same day that your child has appointments at the cochlear implant clinic at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Who can join the study?

This study might be a good fit if your child:

  • Has a cochlear implant 
  • Received their cochlear implant device before 2 years of age
  • Is fitted with one cochlear implant device, with or without a hearing aid in the other ear
  • Is fitted with two cochlear implant devices, either at the same time or at different times

Who do I contact for more information or to enroll in this study?

To take part in this study or for more information, please email our research coordinator. 

The principal investigator for this study is Dr. David Horn

Uni HELO - Unilateral Hearing Effects on Life Outcomes

Condition: Hearing loss in one ear

What is the goal of this study?

Researchers at Seattle Children's want to learn about how single-side hearing loss affects the daily lives of children and teenagers.

Is this study a good fit for me?

This study might be a good fit for you if:

  • You have a child over 5 years old with hearing loss in one ear and normal hearing in the other, or
  • You have hearing loss in one ear and you are at least 11 years old.

What happens if I take part in the study?

If you decide to take part in the research study:

  • All parents will be asked survey questions by phone.
  • Parents of children 5-10 years old can join group talks at Children's.
  • Patients 11 years old and older can have one-on-one interviews at Children's.

Parents and patients who take part will get a gift card to thank them for their time. Participants coming to the hospital can be reimbursed for their travel costs and mileage.

Before you participate

We recommend that all phone survey participants review the following information. These forms outline what happens if you join the study. Signatures are not required.

This study will not benefit you directly, but it will help us better understand your needs.

Who do I contact for more information or to enroll in this study?

To take part in this study or for more information, please send us an email.

The principal investigator for this study is Dr. Kathy Sie, director of the Childhood Communication Center.

Help us answer questions about childhood health and illness, and help other children in the future. Learn more.