A cochlear-implant (CI) restores high levels of speech understanding to individuals across the lifespan. However, a gap in knowledge exists because we do not understand how aging affects hearing in CI users. Aging is associated with changes at multiple levels of the brain, thereby making it difficult to determine if the poorer auditory performance that occurs with advancing age is a result of changes in the auditory periphery, central auditory neural structures, cognition, or a combination of the three mechanisms. Since a CI bypasses some of the age-related changes that occur at the level of the cochlea, this research provides an innovative approach at investigating how aging affects hearing.

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