Current Research Studies

Hearing – The Development of Sensitivity to Electrical Stimulation with Cochlear Implants Study

Condition or Therapy:

Hearing loss 


Hearing and Communication

What is the goal of this study?

We want to investigate how quickly infants with cochlear implants are able to hear differences in sounds and identify how this relates to their ability to learn to speak. Many infants who receive a cochlear implant within the first 2 years of life learn to speak at a normal rate, however, 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. We want to improve how hearing is measured in infants with cochlear implants to earlier identify and help those who are not hearing as well.

Who can join the study?

This study might be a good fit if your child:

  • Has hearing loss in both ears
  • Has a cochlear implant in at least one ear. They may have a hearing aid, cochlear implant, or nothing in their other ear
  • Received their cochlear implant before 2 years of age

What will happen if my child takes part in this study?

If you choose to take part in this study, your child would attend up to 10 study visits over a period of 3 months up to 3 years depending on their age.

All testing is completed in our lab located on the University of Washington campus.


  • Your child will wear one or two of their speech processors using their default programs for testing
  • Your child will sit on your lap or age-appropriate chair in a quiet room with one of our lab members
  • This lab member will engage your child in age-appropriate play. This may look similar to your child’s visit with their audiologist
  • Your child’s responses to different sounds will be recorded by researchers observing through a window from outside the booth

School Age Children:

  • Your child will wear one or two of their speech processors using their default programs for testing
  • Your child will sit in a quiet room and listen to a variety of sounds
  • They may be asked to click buttons on a computer screen, raise their hand, or repeat back words that they hear

Scheduling is flexible and possible on evenings/weekends depending on lab staff availability. Travel accommodations for those out of the area may also be provided dependent on institutional travel policies.

Who can I contact for more information?

To learn more please check out our website or email the lab.


Study Location(s):

 Seattle Children's Hospital campusVirginia Merrill Bloedel Hearing Research Center 

Principal Investigator:

Dr. David Horn