February 20, 2009For Immediate Release
Boys Town National Research Hospital Receives $1.46 Million Grant for Cochlear Implant Research
Michelle Hughes, Ph.D., Coordinator of the Cochlear Implant Program at Boys Town National
Research Hospital, received a $1.46 million grant from the National Institute on Deafness and
Other Communication Disorders to advance cochlear implant programming over the next five
“Cochlear implant programming is like a recipe,” said Dr. Hughes. “Each individual has his own
unique program that generates maximum performance with a cochlear implant. The audiologist’s
job is to figure out the right combination of ingredients to reach that maximum performance.”
Young deaf children generally cannot provide subjective feedback about soft or loud tones, pitch
order or preference for one program over another. In addition, it is difficult to administer formal
tests to assess how well they can understand speech with their cochlear implant. The study,
Physiology as a Potential Predictor of Perception in Cochlear Implants, will measure if there is a
predictable relationship between auditory nerve responses and what a patient can actually hear.
If there is a positive relationship, audiologists will be able to more effectively program cochlear
implants with little or no input from patients.
“This will allow optimal programming of cochlear implant speech processors from the very
beginning of implant use,” said Dr. Hughes.
ABOUT BOYS TOWN NATIONAL RESEARCH HOSPITAL
Boys Town National Research Hospital is an international leader in research on childhood deafness, vision and communication disorders. For 40 years, Boys Town Hospital has been dedicated to providing leading edge clinical care, pioneering translational research and improving the lives of children and their families through applied technology and educational outreach programs.