University of Illinois Department of Speech and Hearing Science


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Understanding how information from the left and right ear is combined

The brain has an amazing ability to combine information from the left and right ear. This is critical for being able to locate where sounds came from and can be very helpful when trying to listen in noisy environments. This research focuses on understanding the requirements and limitations that determine when signals from each ear will be combined.

Developing techniques to improve bilateral cochlear implant users' performance

In recent years, patients have begun receiving two cochlear implants. Although this has yielded improvements in performance, the benefits that patients receive from having two cochlear implants are considerably less than the benefits that people with two acoustic ears receive. This research focuses on improving the benefits of having two cochlear implants as well as developing novel techniques for cochlear implant patients that take advantage of the availability of two ears.

Scheduling & Participation

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Have Normal Hearing?

Want to help the cause of science and make some money doing it? Sign up for one of our hearing experiments! We have a number of experiments going on in the Champaign-Urbana area. Use our booking tool to sign up for an available slot! For more information, please contact Justin Aronoff

Book an appointment with Binaural Hearing Lab using SetMore

Have Cochlear Implants?

We have a number of experiments going on in both the Champaign-Urbana area and the Chicago area. For more information, please contact Justin Aronoff

901 S 6th St
Champaign, IL 61820

1919 W Taylor St
Chicago, IL 60612

About Us

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Justin Aronoff

Ph.D. (Principal Investigator)


My research focuses on bilateral cochlear implant patients and binaural hearing. The goal of this research is to develop a greater understanding of how signals presented to the ears are combined and to use that knowledge to develop new techniques and technologies to improve bilateral cochlear implant patients’ performance.

Hannah Staisloff

PhD student


I am a first year Ph.D. student with an interest in Binaural Fusion in cochlear implants. My specific interests lie in interaural timing differences within cochlear implant recipients. After working here as an RA for two years here, I realized I wanted to enhance my knowledge further into learning about cochlear implants through pursuing a Ph.D.

Abbigail Buente

PhD/AuD student

My research focus is on bilateral cochlear implant user's performance and perception. Specifically how a cochlear implant user’s perception of a sound affects their production of this sound. I am also interested in the effects of bilateral differences on binaural abilities, and plan to pursue this line of research.

Daniel Lee

PhD/AuD student

My research interest relates to the adaptation of binaural cues in mismatched speech, particularly in bilateral cochlear implant users. I have a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering, so I felt that research pertaining to one of the most advanced hearing technologies would complement my previous studies as well as advance my goal of becoming a research professor. I'm also interested in the clinical aspect of Audiology and can't wait to apply research findings within the clinical realm and vice versa. I find that Illinois' Audiology program is quite versatile, seamlessly balancing clinical work with research-oriented studies.

Jared Anderson

AuD student

I am currently in my second year of the Doctor of Audiology program. I became interested in cochlear implant research after completing my bachelors degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. My current research involves comparing interaural level differences and interaural time differences between normal hearing listeners and patients with bilateral cochlear implants. I plan on pursing a career in clinical research with cochlear implants after completing the Au.D program.

Allison Laubenstein

Lab student

I am a senior in the department of Speech and Hearing Science and aspire to become a Speech Language Pathologist. After completing my education, I hope to work for a nonprofit organization or medical mission team and use my skills to help those in third world countries. I have been with the Binaural Hearing Lab since Fall 2014 and have thoroughly enjoyed learning more about hearing science and cochlear implant research.

Melanie Samuels

Lab Member

Hi! I'm Melanie Samuels and I'm a sophomore majoring in Speech and Hearing Sciences with a concentration in Audiology. I became interested in this field after learning about cochlear implants in a high school psychology class, and I've been hooked ever since. I love working in the lab because I get to do things that I didn't think I would get to do until I was a practicing audiologist!

Marshall Lawler

MD student

Lab alumni

Julia Stelmach

Saint Louis University

Interested in joining the lab?

If you would like to learn more about becoming a member of the lab, email Justin Aronoff


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Jeff Yu's talk, CI2016
Julia Stelmach's poster, AAA 2015
ARO 2016
Abbi Buente's Poster Blitz talk, ARO 2016
Hannah Staisloff's Poster, ARO 2016
Walk for Hearing, Chicago, 2015
Hannah Staisloff, CRASH 2015
Daniel Lee poster, CIAP 2015
Walk for Hearing, Chicago, 2014
CRASH Conference, University of Wisconsin Madison, 2014
CRASH Conference, University of Wisconsin Madison, 2014
ARO Conference, 2015`
ARO Conference, 2015


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Aronoff, J.M., Kirchner, A., Abbs, E., & Harmon, B. (2018). When singing with cochlear implants, are two ears worse that one for perilingually/postlingually deaf individuals? Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 143, EL503-EL508.

Lee, D.H. & Aronoff, J.M. (2018). Changing stimulation patterns can change the broadness of contralateral masking functions for bilateral cochlear implant users. Hearing Research, 363, 55-61.

Suneel, D., Staisloff, H., Shayman, C., Stelmach, J., Aronoff, J.M. (2017). Localization performance correlates with binaural fusion for interaurally mismatched vocoded speech. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 142 (3), EL276-280.

Lawler, M., Yu, J., Aronoff, J.M. (2017). Comparison of the spectral-temporally modulated ripple test with the Arizona biomedical institute sentence test in cochlear implant users. Ear and Hearing, 38 (6), 760-766.

Stelmach, J., Landsberger, D.M., Padilla, M.,& Aronoff, J.M. (2017). Determining the minimum number of electrodes that need to be pitch matched to accurately estimate pitch matches across the array. International Journal of Audiology, 56, 894-899.

Aronoff, J.M., Padilla, M.,Stelmach, J., & Landsberger, D. (2016). Clinically paired electrodes are often not perceived as pitch matched. Trends in Hearing, 20, 1-9.

Staisloff, H.E., Lee, D. H., & Aronoff, J.M. (2016). Perceptually aligning apical frequency regions leads to more binaural fusion of speech in a CI simulation. Hearing Research, 337, 59-64.

Aronoff, J.M., Stelmach, J., Padilla, M., Landsberger, D.M. (2016). Interleaved processors improve cochlear implant patients’ spectral resolution. Ear and Hearing, 37 (2), E85-e90.

Loucks, T.M., Suneel, D., Aronoff, J.M. (2015). Audio-vocal responses elicited in adult cochlear implant users. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 138(4), EL393-EL398.

Aronoff, J.M., Padilla, M., Fu, Q.-J., and Landsberger, D.M. (2015). Contralateral masking in bilateral cochlear implant patients: A model of medial olivocochlear function loss. PLoS ONE 10(3): e0121591. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0121591.

Aronoff, J.M., Shayman, C., Prasad, A., Suneel, D., & Stelmach, J. (2015). Unilateral spectral and temporal compression reduces binaural fusion for normal hearing listeners with cochlear implant simulations. Hearing Research. 320, 24-29.

Aronoff, J.M., Amano-Kusumoto, A., Itoh, M., Soli, S. D. (2014). The effect of interleaved filters on normal hearing listeners' perception of binaural cues. Ear and Hearing, 35 (6), 708-710.

Amano-Kusumoto, A., Hosom, J.-P., Kain, A., & Aronoff, J.M. (2014). Determining the relevance of different aspects of formant contours to intelligibility. Speech Communication, 59, 1-9.

Aronoff, J.M. & Landsberger, D.M. (2013). The development of a modified spectral ripple test. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 134(2), EL217-EL222.

Aronoff, J.M., Freed, D.J., Fisher, L.M., Pal, I., Soli, S.D. (2012). Cochlear implant patients' localization using interaural level differences exceeds that of untrained normal hearing listeners. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 131(5). EL382-EL387.

Aronoff, J.M., Freed, D.J., Fisher, L., Pal, I., & Soli, S.D. (2011). The effect of different cochlear implant microphones on acoustic hearing individuals’ binaural benefits for speech perception in noise. Ear and Hearing, 32(4), 468-484.

Aronoff, J. M., Yoon, Y.-S., & Soli, S. D. (2010). Stratification of American hearing aid users by age and audiometric characteristics: A method for representative sampling. Ear and Hearing, 31(3), 401-406.

Aronoff, J.M., Yoon, Y.-S., Freed, D.J., Vermiglio, A.J., Pal, I., & Soli, S.D. (2010). The use of interaural time and level difference cues by bilateral cochlear implant users. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 127 (3), EL87-EL92.