april 2018 presenters

sound prActice in action

April 2018 Presenters
  • Speaker Series
  • April 2018 Presenters

April 2018 Presenters


Ruth Litovsky, PhD 
Professor of Communication Sciences & Disorders and Surgery/Otolaryngology, University of Wisconsin

Ruth LitovskyProfessor Litovsky received her PhD in 1991 in Developmental Psychology, with post-doctoral training in auditory neurophysiology and biomedical engineering. She has published over 120 papers and book chapters. Her research focuses hearing abilities covering lifespan of humans to include infants and elderly adults, in particular on cochlear implants. The research questions seek to understand auditory development in children and adults who are born deaf, or who acquire deafness during childhood, and the potential benefits gained from bilateral cochlear implants.

Her work focuses on various measures, including psychophysical performance in response to binaural cues, as a means of understanding binaural processing and plasticity. In addition, her lab is advancing knowledge about the role of cognition, attention and memory in implanted patients. Objective measures in her lab focus on pupil dilation a ‘real time’ assay of listening effort during speech-in-noise tasks. The goal of the objective measures is to assess the impact of adding a second ear to bilateral CI users and to patients with single sided deafness who receive a CI in the deaf ear.

Professor Litovsky teaches courses in undergraduate and graduate programs, serves on numerous national and international grant review panels and editorial boards, and in various positions of leadership in the research community. She has received a number of awards, including a Fulbright. Her lab has over 20 students, postdoctoral fellows, engineers and audiologists. Her ongoing research program has been funded for over 20 years by more than $10 million in grants from the National Institute of Health in the USA.

Ruth Litovsky Fincial Disclosure: Ruth will receive an honorarium from SoundIntution for today’s presentation. Ruth Litovsky receives consultation fees from Cochlear Corporation. Ruth Litovsky Non-financial Disclosure: Ruth has no relevant non-financial relationships to disclose.

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Karen Gordon, PhD
Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology, University of Toronto

Karen GordonA Graduate Faculty Member in the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto, Karen Gordon works at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, as a Senior Scientist in the Research Institute and an Audiologist in the Department of Communication Disorders.

She is Director of Research in Archie’s Cochlear Implant Laboratory and holds the Bastable-Potts Health Clinician Scientist Award in Hearing Impairment and Cochlear Americas Chair of Auditory Development. Karen’s research focuses on auditory development in children who are deaf and use auditory prostheses including cochlear implants.  

Her work is supported by research funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research along with the Cochlear Americas Chair in Auditory Development and generous donations. 

Karen Gordon Financial Disclosure: Karen Gordon receives a consulting fee from Salus University, Advanced Bionics, Cochlear Corporation, and Health Canada. She also receives compensation from Salus University, Advanced Bionics and Cochlear Corporation for speaker fees and teaching . Finally, she receives compensation for her travel expenses from Salus University, Advanced Bionics, and Cochlear Corporation. Karen Gordon Non-financial Disclosure: Karen Gordon has no relevant non-financial relationships to disclose.

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Andrew Dimitrijevic, PhD
Assistant Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology, University of Toronto

Dr. Andrew Dimitrijevic is a scientist in the Hurvitz Brain Sciences Research Program at Sunnybrook Research Institute (SRI) and is research director of the Sunnybrook Cochlear Implant Program. He is also an assistant professor in the department of otolaryngology – head and neck surgery at the University of Toronto. Dr. Dimitrijevic did his postdoctoral fellowships at the University of British Columbia and the University of California, Irvine. He completed his M.Sc. in zoology and PhD in neuroscience, both at U of T. Born and raised in Toronto, Ont, Dr. Dimitrijevic joined SRI in September 2016. 

Dr. Dimitrijevic’s lab studies the physiology of human hearing in both normal hearing and hearing impaired populations. They use electroencephalograms, also known as EEG or “brain waves,” to understand the neural mechanisms of how sound is processed and perceived. A major focus of the lab is cochlear implants. People with cochlear implants may hear well in quiet settings but experience difficulties in everyday listening environments, such as following a conversation during a cocktail party. The goal of this research is to understand better the brain mechanisms of hearing with a cochlear implant and use this knowledge to improve outcomes after cochlear implantation. The lab also studies sensory and cognitive factors related to hearing. Hearing is both a peripheral (ear) and cognitive (brain) process. The cognitive aspects of hearing, such as attention and memory, become crucial when listening in noisy environments. This is especially true for older people or those with hearing impairment. Therefore another focus of the lab is to study the neural mechanisms associated with attention and working memory. The goal of this research is to dissociate sensory and cognitive aspects of impaired hearing and provide clinicians with improved tools and strategies for rehabilitation.

Andrew Dimitrijevic Financial Disclosure: Andrew has no relevant financial relationships to disclose. Andrew Dimitrijevic Non-finacial Disclosure: Andrew has no relevant non-financial relationships to disclose.

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Judy Horvath, MED-EL

Judy has over 28 years of experience in the field of hearing loss. These experiences include teaching in public school settings, providing therapy in clinical settings, Special Education administration, adjunct university instructor and as director of both an Auditory-Verbal Therapy Center and the Pediatric Cochlear Implant Family Resource Center at the University of Miami. Judy co-created and implemented a Listening and Spoken Language Summer Camp experience for children with hearing loss in Michigan that continues today. She, in partnership with the Florida Department of Education, developed and implemented training modules for teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing.  Judy’s core beliefs and desire to support those navigating hearing loss is her main objective in her current role as Director of Consumer Engagement and Rehabilitation for MED-EL US and Canada.  This diverse team of professionals creates and implements initiatives that support children and adults with hearing loss and the professionals who serve them.

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Alexander Bergen

Alexander has a congenital bilateral severe to profound hearing loss, which was diagnosed early in life. Shortly following fitting of hearing aids, Alexander’s family were enrolled in Auditory-Verbal Therapy at the Learning to Listen Foundation to help Alexan der learn to listen and talk.   This presentation will provide the audience with insight on the journey in discovering, exploring, and participating in a world of sound and how with the support of his family and many professionals, Alexander learned to take responsibility for hid own listening skills development as he matured, and became empowered to use his listening and spoken communication skills to accomplish his goals and dreams.  This presentation will provide professionals with the clients’ (family and child) perspective on what was helpful and what could have been done differently support the family in helping Alexander achieve his listening and spoken language, academic and life outcomes. Alexander currently works as an Analyst at the AML Group at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC).

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