RuffLab Academics at Indiana University
RuffLab at Indiana University has been continuously funded since 2014 and focuses on translational research and innovations that can rapidly be developed to improve the communication outcomes of those with hearing loss. Our efforts are geared towards improving the socioeconomic status of the d/Deaf and hard-of-hearing at the population scale.
Comprehending speech with hearing loss places stress on the brain and impedes both hearing and the ability to easily focus on the content of what is heard. Our goal is to understand how people with cochlear implants integrate word understanding with “how” speech is said (i.e. the verbal cues that shape speech delivery). This will assist in developing recovery strategies for hearing loss and improve hearing technology.
Cochlear implants convert sound into electrical pulses which bypass the damaged inner ear and directly stimulate the hearing nerve. While very beneficial, this crude neural representation does not restore speech. RuffLab is leading a clinical trial to improve neural coding with cochlear implants in hopes of improving hearing.
We advocate on behalf of those with hearing loss. We work with representatives in the state legislature and the U.S. Congress. Patients and professionals alike benefit from our leadership roles in professional societies such as the Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Loss (AMPHL) and the American Cochlear Implant Alliance (ACIA).