Department of Audiology’s Expert in Audiology Research (EAR) Seminar

Thursday, January 23 at 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm

San Francisco Campus
155 Fifth Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

Pacific’s Department of Audiology is kicking off 2020 with an insightful lecture on music in speech presented by Monita Chatterjee, PhD, director of the Auditory Prostheses and Perception Laboratory at Boys Town National Research Hospital. Dr. Chatterjee’s lecture will be followed by a panel on cochlear implants lead by experts, including Matthew Fitzgerald, PhD, chief of audiology at Stanford Health Care, Gabriella Musacchia, PhD, assistant professor of audiology at University of the Pacific and Jayaganesh Swaminathan, PhD, research associate at University of the Pacific.

The inaugural event will also include a cocktail reception, photo opportunity with all attendees and a showcase of research posters by Pacific AuD students.

Pacific Students, Alumni, Faculty and Preceptors | FREE
General Admission | $35

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1- 2 p.m. | Dr. Chatterjee's Lecture - Part I
2 - 2:30 p.m. | Break
2:30 - 3:30 p.m. |  Dr. Chatterjee's Lecture - Part II
3:30 - 3:45 p.m. | Break
3:45 - 4:30 p.m. | Expert Panel on Cochlear Implants
4:30 - 6 p.m. | Cocktail reception, photos and student research poster gallery

For more information, contact Jessica Fuentes, audiology program services assistant, at or 415.400.8233.


Title: "The music in speech: consequences of hearing loss and cochlear implantation"
Speaker: Monita Chatterjee, Ph.D.

Abstract: Although cochlear implant patients show considerable benefits from the device on average, many patients have difficulty with everyday tasks such as listening to speech in noise or following a conversation about an unfamiliar topic. The musicality of sounds is degraded when listening with cochlear implants, and patients have problems with tasks that require pitch sensitivity, such as music perception, speaker identification, listening in noise, and vocal emotion recognition. Tonal language speakers with cochlear implants also show deficits in identifying lexical tones, which involve rapid pitch changes in words.

Despite these degradations and ensuing difficulties, the device supports reasonable degrees of speech communication in adult cochlear implant users and spoken language development in child users. This success is in part due to advancements in technology, biomedicine, surgical approaches, audiology and speech therapy. The listening brain contributes substantially, using cognitive resources and linguistic knowledge to reconstruct the talker’s intended message from the degraded input. In the first part of this presentation, I will describe how cochlear implants transmit speech information to the listener, explain the primary limitations, and comment on clinical implications. In the second half of the presentation, I will describe our recent work on pitch perception, lexical tone processing, vocal emotion perception and emotional speech productions in children and adults with cochlear implants. I will also present new work how listening with hearing loss or cochlear implants interacts with aging to create deficits in vocal emotion perception by middle-aged and older adult listeners.

Learning Objectives:
After attending this presentation, the audience will be able to:

  • Describe how cochlear implants work, and explain why sounds are degraded through cochlear implants
  • Discuss the consequences of sound degradation in cochlear implants for speech, pitch, and music perception
  • Explain how children and adults with cochlear implants perceive emotional prosody
  • Explain what is known about how children and adults with cochlear implants produce emotional prosody
  • Discuss the impact of hearing loss and aging on emotion perception by adults

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