Research Symposium


Maximizing Brain Adaptability

Enhancing Listening for Language Development, Speech Perception and Music Appreciation

Sunday, June 29, 8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.


BrainFor the ninth convention in a row, AG Bell is pleased to present its renowned Research Symposium featuring eminent scientists in the field of hearing health research and auditory skill development. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) within the National Institutes of Health has sponsored these symposia so that AG Bell attendees have the unique opportunity to learn how laboratory research translates into benefits for individuals with hearing loss.

The Research Symposium is a perennial highlight for professionals, individuals with hearing loss and families alike working towards a listening and spoken language outcome. This year’s presentations will focus on the dramatic interplay between cognitive adaptability, or brain plasticity, and technology that provides audibility for language development, improved listening skills and music appreciation. What links these remarkable elements together is meaningful interaction in the form of conversation, guided practice or intervention, and listening to music so that the neural pathways designed for hearing can play their natural roles when provided with audition through technology.

The 2014 Research Symposium chairmen, Peter Steyger, Ph.D., and Tilak Ratnanather, Ph.D., have once again invited an impressive panel of scientists to share their work with AG Bell convention attendees.


 Wright  Beverly Wright, Ph.D., Northwestern University, School of Communication, will present on brain plasticity in relation to auditory perceptual learning.
 Gfeller  Kate Gfeller, Ph.D., University of Iowa, School of Music, will present on music appreciation with cochlear implants for children and adults.
 Souza 2 Pamela Souza, Ph.D., Northwestern University, School of Communication will present on improving audibility with hearing aids and/or cochlear implants as the necessary foundation for improving speech perception and comprehension.
 Tobey Emily Tobey, Ph.D., University of Texas at Dallas, School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, will present on language outcomes for children who receive cochlear implants at an early age.