Lecturer, Department of Communication Disorders, Steyer School of Health Professions, Sackler Faculty of Medicine
ד"ר דפנה ארי אבן רוט
Learning and Plasticity and Early Detection of Hearing Loss – Clinical Implications
Our research focuses on two main fields:
- Learning and plasticity in the auditory system: Our research goal focuses on investigating perceptual learning and plasticity in the auditory system throughout the life span. Our interest in this area is motivated by the constant need in clinical practice to seek for better understanding of the learning characteristics and limitations of brain plasticity in the auditory modality which will in turn contribute to the better development of habilitation strategies in a variety of populations with hearing difficulties. We conduct behavioral studies in adults and children (i.e. single and multi-session training) using both non-verbal and verbal stimuli in order to explore the different characteristics of skill learning in the auditory system such as the time course of learning, the role of sleep for the establishment of delayed gains in performance, the generalization of the learning gains to untrained conditions etc. In order to provide evidence for functional plasticity in the neural encoding of sounds in the auditory system following training, we are currently also utilizing electrophysiological measures. Specifically, we record auditory brainstem responses to speech stimuli which provide us with a unique opportunity to follow changes in the neural signatures of the acoustic properties of the input signal (e.g., pitch tracking, harmonics, onset timing etc) that occur before and following training. We plan to explore the learning characteristics and limitations of brain plasticity in the auditory modality in different populations (e.g. middle-aged, elderly adults, hearing impaired, auditory processing disorders etc.) using both behavioral and electrophysiological measures.
- Early detection of hearing loss in neonates and its clinical implications: Our interest in this field is motivated by the growing evidence that early identification of hearing loss and intervention prior to six months of age can diminish the negative impact of hearing loss on speech and language acquisition. One line of research we conduct focuses on the prevalence and characteristics of hearing loss among different populations of infants such as infants with very low birth weight infants and congenital cytomegalovirus infection. Universal newborn hearing screening allows us not only identify special populations at risk for hearing loss but also, for the first time, to follow the developmental milestones of these children at a very young age and assess the communicative skills of infants with different types of hearing loss (e.g., unilateral hearing loss, mild hearing loss). These early communicative skills are known to be necessary to language and speech development. Thus, another line of research focuses on the effects of different degrees of hearing loss (e.g., unilateral hearing loss) on early auditory and pre-lexical productions. Learning the consequences of early detection and as a result early intervention provides insights to the ability to reverse the negative influence of auditory deprivation due to brain plasticity in young children.
Y. Zaltz, D. Ari-Even Roth, L. Kishon-Rabin. How specific is the learning in an auditory frequency discrimination task? Journal of Basic and Clinical Physiology & Pharmacology, 22(3), 69-73, 2011.
D. Ari-Even Roth, C. Muchnik, E. Shabtai, M. Hildesheimer, Y. Henkin. Evidence for atypical auditory brainstem responses in young children with suspected autism spectrum disorders. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 54(1), 23-29, 2012.
G. Barkai, A. Barzilai, E. Mendelson, M. Tepperberg-Oikawa, D. Ari-Even Roth, J. Kuint. Newborn screening for congenital cytomegalovirus using real-time polymerase chain reaction in umbilical cord blood. Israel Medical Association Journal, 15(6), 279-283, 2013.
L. Kishon-Rabin, M. Avivi-Reich, D. Ari-Even Roth. Improved gap detection thresholds following auditory training: Evidence of auditory plasticity in older adults. The American Journal of Audiology, 22(2), 343-346,
2013. C. Muchnik, D. Ari-Even Roth, M. Hildesheimer, M. Arie, Y. Bar-Haim, Y. Henkin. Abnormalities in auditory efferent activities in children with selective mutism. Audiology and Neurotology, 18(6), 353-361, 2013.
Y. Henkin, R. Taitelbaum-Swead, D. Ari-Even Roth, L. Kishon-Rabin, Y. Shapira, L. Migirov, M. Hildesheimer, R. Kaplan-Neeman. Evidence for a right cochlear implant advantage in simultaneous bilateral cochlear implantation. Laryngoscope, 124(8):1937-41, 2014.
G. Barkai*, D. Ari-Even Roth*, A. Barzilai, M. Hildesheimer, M. Tepperberg-Oikawa, E. Mendelson, J. Kuint. Universal neonatal cytomegalovirus screening using saliva – report of clinical experience. Journal of Clinical Virology, 60(4):361-6, 2014. *equal contribution
Y. Zaltz, D. Ari-Even Roth, H. Gover, S. Liran, L. Kishon-Rabin. The effect of gender on a frequency discrimination task in children. Journal of Basic and Clinical Physiology & Pharmacology, 25, 293-299, 2014.
L. Kishon-Rabin, J. Kuint, M. Hildesheimer, D. Ari-Even Roth. Delay in auditory behaviour and preverbal vocalization in infants with unilateral hearing loss. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 57, 1129-36, 2015.
O. Miron, D. Ari-Even Roth, L. Gabis, Y. Henkin, S. Shefer, I. Dinstein, R. Geva. Prolonged auditory brainstem responses in infants with autism. Autism Research, 9, 689-95, 2016.
D. Ari-Even Roth, L. Kishon-Rabin, M. Hildesheimer, A. Karni. Asymmetric interaural generalization of learning gains in a speech-in-noise identification task. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 138, 2627-2634, 2015.