Hearing Loss and Visual Processing

How does hearing loss affect perception and cognition for other senses?

When someone has hearing loss, they may begin to rely on other senses to navigate the world. For example, if listening to speech is hard, visual information from a person’s face and mouth can make speech listening easier. This is especially true when a person is trying to listen in a noisy place, like a crowded restaurant or in a workplace. The long-term brain consequences of this multisensory reliance, sculpted by principles of neural plasticity, may change the way that visual information processed in the brain. Although there is some evidence that people with adult-onset hearing loss have larger brain responses to visual information than people without hearing loss, we do not fully understand how these changes in visual perception and cognition arise, and what their consequences are for the remaining hearing ability.  

One line of our research examines how hearing loss affects the way that visual information is processed in our brain and stored in working memory, and how changes in visual perception affect speech listening ability.

Example research:

Prince, P., Paul, B. T., Chen, J., Le., T., Lin, V. & Dimitrijevic, A. (2021). Neural correlates of visual stimulus encoding and verbal working memory differ between cochlear implant users and normal-hearing controlsEuropean Journal of Neuroscience, 54 (3), 5016-5037 doi:10.1111/ejn.15365

Dimitrijevic A., Paul, B. T., Munir, D., Uzelac, M., & Chen, J. (In preparation) Assessing cross-modal reorganization on the performance of cochlear implant users.

Paul, B. T., Srikanthanathan, A., & Dimitrijevic, A. (In preparation). Loss of high-frequency hearing acuity is associated with modified neural oscillations during visual verbal working memory.