Faculty profile

Ruth Litovsky

Ruth Litovsky

Dept. of Communicative Disorders
378 Goodnight Hall

Lab: 521 Waisman Center
(608) 262-5045


Research Keywords

binaural hearing, auditory development, degraded speech, cochlear implants


  • Department of Communicative Disorders, Associate Professor
  • Waisman Center, researcher
  • Department of Psychology, affiliate

Current Projects

  • Director, Binaural Hearing and Speech Project
  • Project on emergence of language abilities in deaf toddlers who wear cochlear implants

Research Collaborators

Representative Classes

  • Com Dis 202: Normal Aspects of Hearing
  • Com Dis 851: Hearing Sciences Advanced Topics

Research Statement

My research focuses on how people are able to hear in complex, noisy environments, and the contributions of the binaural auditory system (having two ears). My work has several main themes: 1) How we hear speech in noise (the "cocktail party" effect); 2) How we localize sounds; 3) How people with cochlear implants can operate in these conditions, and whether bilateral implants provide benefits beyond unilateral implants. Most of this research takes place at the Waisman Center, where I direct the Binaural Hearing and Speech Lab, working closely with children from the Waisman Center Early Childhood Program. I also collaborate with numerous clinics nation-wide that provide cochlear implants to children and adults.

Selected Publications

  • Litovsky R.Y., Johnstone P.M., Godar S, Agrawal S, Parkinson A, Peters R, & Lake J. (2006). Bilateral cochlear implants in children: localization acuity measured with minimum audible angle. Ear Hear. 27 (1):43-59.
  • Litovsky R.Y. (2005). Speech intelligibility and spatial release from masking in young children. J Acoust Soc Am. 117(5):3091-3099.
  • Hawley M.L., Litovsky R.Y., & Culling J.F. (2004). The benefit of binaural hearing in a cocktail party: effect of location and type of interferer. J Acoust Soc Am. 115(2):833-843.
  • Litovsky R.Y., Colburn H.S., Yost W.A., & Guzman S.J. (1999). The precedence effect. J Acoust Soc Am. 106(4):1633-1654.