Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Thesis defense Katharina Vogt (Donders series 478)

22 January 2021

Promotors: prof. dr. A. van Opstal, prof. dr. A. Snik
Co-promotor: dr. M. Agterberg

Sound localization in children with congenital conductive hearing loss using acoustic implants

The aim of this thesis was to evaluate whether children born with unilateral conductive hearing loss, due to aural atresia, gain access to binaural hearing when listening with a bone-conduction device or a middle ear implant. In our localization measurements most patients showed an improvement in the localization behavior when listening with instead of without their hearing implant. Interestingly, improvement was mainly observed on the side of the impaired side and not on the side of the healthy ear, indicating that the benefit of a hearing implant was not related to acquired access to binaural cues. To investigate this further we studied the processing of monaural cues and the impact of age on implantation on sound localization abilities. We demonstrated a strong reliance on monaural spectral cues in the aided and unaided condition. Further, we demonstrate the absence of a systematic relation between age at implantation and sound-localization performance.