Rene H. Gifford, Ph.D.


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Faculty Appointments
Director of Pediatric Audiology & Director of Cochlear Implant Program Professor of Hearing and Speech Sciences Professor of Otolaryngology
Ph.D., SPEECH AND HEARING SCIENCE, Arizona State University, Tempe, ArizonaM.S., Hearing & Speech Sciences, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TennesseeB.S., SPEECH AND HEARING SCIENCE, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona
Office Address
Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center
1215 21st Avenue South
MCE South Tower, Room 8310
Nashville, TN 37232
Research Description
The Cochlear Implant Research Lab at Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center is directed by Dr. Rene Gifford in the Departments of Hearing and Speech Sciences and Otolaryngology. The lab focuses on speech perception and psychoacoustic properties of acoustic and electric hearing for both pediatric and adult cochlear implant recipients. The director's primary interest is in the combination of electric and acoustic hearing as compared to bilateral cochlear implants for speech recognition in complex listening environments. Ongoing NIH-funded research projects include speech perception, localization, neuroimaging, and psychophysical evaluation of spectral and temporal processing with cochlear implant recipients.
Research Keywords
Speech perception, psychoacoustic function, cochlear implants, combined electric and acoustic hearing
Pelosi S, Wanna GB, Gifford RH, Sisler-Dinwiddie A, Bom Braga GP, Bennett ML, Labadie RF, Rivas A, Haynes DS. Unilateral auditory performance before and after bilateral sequential cochlear implantation. Otol. Neurotol. 2013 Dec; 34(9): 1642-7. PMID: 24136307, DOI: 10.1097/MAO.0b013e3182a0034e, ISSN: 1537-4505.

Noble JH, Labadie RF, Gifford RH, Dawant BM. Image-guidance enables new methods for customizing cochlear implant stimulation strategies. IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehabil Eng [print-electronic]. 2013 Sep; 21(5): 820-9. PMID: 23529109, PMCID: PMC3769452, DOI: 10.1109/TNSRE.2013.2253333, ISSN: 1558-0210.

Gifford RH, Dorman MF, Skarzynski H, Lorens A, Polak M, Driscoll CL, Roland P, Buchman CA. Cochlear implantation with hearing preservation yields significant benefit for speech recognition in complex listening environments. Ear Hear. 2013 Jul; 34(4): 413-25. PMID: 23446225, PMCID: PMC3742689, DOI: 10.1097/AUD.0b013e31827e8163, ISSN: 1538-4667.


Carlson ML, Archibald DJ, Gifford RH, Driscoll CL, Beatty CW. Reimplantation with a conventional length electrode following residual hearing loss in four hybrid implant recipients. Cochlear Implants Int [print-electronic]. 2012 Aug; 13(3): 148-55. PMID: 22333755, PMCID: PMC4127077, PII: cim38, DOI: 10.1179/1754762811Y.0000000003, ISSN: 1754-7628.

Carlson ML, Breen JT, Driscoll CL, Link MJ, Neff BA, Gifford RH, Beatty CW. Cochlear implantation in patients with neurofibromatosis type 2: variables affecting auditory performance. Otol. Neurotol. 2012 Jul; 33(5): 853-62. PMID: 22664900, DOI: 10.1097/MAO.0b013e318254fba5, ISSN: 1537-4505.

Dorman MF, Spahr A, Gifford RH, Cook S, Zhang T, Loiselle L, Yost W, Cardy L, Whittingham J, Schramm D. Current research with cochlear implants at Arizona State University. J Am Acad Audiol. 2012 Jun; 23(6): 385-95. PMID: 22668760, PMCID: PMC3652609, DOI: 10.3766/jaaa.23.6.2, ISSN: 1050-0545.


Carlson ML, Driscoll CL, Gifford RH, McMenomey SO. Cochlear implantation: current and future device options. Otolaryngol. Clin. North Am. 2012 Feb; 45(1): 221-48. PMID: 22115692, PII: S0030-6665(11)00161-7, DOI: 10.1016/j.otc.2011.09.002, ISSN: 1557-8259.

Wanna GB, Gifford RH, McRackan TR, Rivas A, Haynes DS. Bilateral cochlear implantation. Otolaryngol. Clin. North Am. 2012 Feb; 45(1): 81-9. PMID: 22115683, PII: S0030-6665(11)00152-6, DOI: 10.1016/j.otc.2011.08.018, ISSN: 1557-8259.

Noble JH, Gifford RH, Labadie RF, Dawant BM. Statistical shape model segmentation and frequency mapping of cochlear implant stimulation targets in CT. Med Image Comput Comput Assist Interv. 2012; 15(Pt 2): 421-8. PMID: 23286076, PMCID: PMC3559125.

Breneman AI, Gifford RH, Dejong MD. Cochlear implantation in children with auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder: long-term outcomes. J Am Acad Audiol. 2012 Jan; 23(1): 5-17. PMID: 22284837, DOI: 10.3766/jaaa.23.1.2, ISSN: 1050-0545.

Spahr AJ, Dorman MF, Litvak LM, Van Wie S, Gifford RH, Loizou PC, Loiselle LM, Oakes T, Cook S. Development and validation of the AzBio sentence lists. Ear Hear. 2012 Jan; 33(1): 112-7. PMID: 21829134, PMCID: PMC4643855, DOI: 10.1097/AUD.0b013e31822c2549, ISSN: 1538-4667.

Carlson ML, Gifford RH, Shallop JK, Driscoll CL. Resolution of untoward nonauditory stimulation and cochlear implant performance gain after extraction of a stainless steel dental crown in a patient with cochlear otosclerosis. Otol. Neurotol. 2011 Dec; 32(9): 1455-8. PMID: 22015943, DOI: 10.1097/MAO.0b013e3182382a94, ISSN: 1537-4505.

Gifford RH, Olund AP, Dejong M. Improving speech perception in noise for children with cochlear implants. J Am Acad Audiol. 2011 Oct; 22(9): 623-32. PMID: 22192607, DOI: 10.3766/jaaa.22.9.7, ISSN: 1050-0545.

Carlson ML, Driscoll CL, Gifford RH, Service GJ, Tombers NM, Hughes-Borst BJ, Neff BA, Beatty CW. Implications of minimizing trauma during conventional cochlear implantation. Otol. Neurotol. 2011 Aug; 32(6): 962-8. PMID: 21659922, PMCID: PMC4127076, DOI: 10.1097/MAO.0b013e3182204526, ISSN: 1537-4505.

Carlson ML, Archibald DJ, Gifford RH, Driscoll CL. Conversion disorder: a missed diagnosis leading to cochlear reimplantation. Otol. Neurotol. 2011 Jan; 32(1): 36-8. PMID: 20962703, DOI: 10.1097/MAO.0b013e3181fc7888, ISSN: 1537-4505.

Dorman MF, Gifford RH. Combining acoustic and electric stimulation in the service of speech recognition. Int J Audiol [print-electronic]. 2010 Dec; 49(12): 912-9. PMID: 20874053, PMCID: PMC2992956, DOI: 10.3109/14992027.2010.509113, ISSN: 1708-8186.

Järbe TU, Gifford RS, Makriyannis A. Antagonism of ¿¿-THC induced behavioral effects by rimonabant: time course studies in rats. Eur. J. Pharmacol [print-electronic]. 2010 Dec 12/1/2010; 648(1-3): 133-8. PMID: 20854804, PMCID: PMC2954612, PII: S0014-2999(10)00886-1, DOI: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2010.09.006, ISSN: 1879-0712.

Carlson ML, Breen JT, Gifford RH, Driscoll CL, Neff BA, Beatty CW, Peterson AM, Olund AP. Cochlear implantation in the octogenarian and nonagenarian. Otol. Neurotol. 2010 Oct; 31(8): 1343-9. PMID: 20729782, DOI: 10.1097/MAO.0b013e3181edb69d, ISSN: 1537-4505.

Carlson ML, Archibald DJ, Dabade TS, Gifford RH, Neff BA, Beatty CW, Barrs DM, Driscoll CL. Prevalence and timing of individual cochlear implant electrode failures. Otol. Neurotol. 2010 Aug; 31(6): 893-8. PMID: 20142796, DOI: 10.1097/MAO.0b013e3181d2d697, ISSN: 1537-4505.

Gifford RH, Revit LJ. Speech perception for adult cochlear implant recipients in a realistic background noise: effectiveness of preprocessing strategies and external options for improving speech recognition in noise. J Am Acad Audiol. 2010 Jul; 21(7): 441-51; quiz 487. PMID: 20807480, PMCID: PMC4127078, DOI: 10.3766/jaaa.21.7.3, ISSN: 1050-0545.

Gifford RH, Dorman MF, Shallop JK, Sydlowski SA. Evidence for the expansion of adult cochlear implant candidacy. Ear Hear. 2010 Apr; 31(2): 186-94. PMID: 20071994, PMCID: PMC4092164, DOI: 10.1097/AUD.0b013e3181c6b831, ISSN: 1538-4667.

Gifford RH, Dorman MF, Brown CA. Psychophysical properties of low-frequency hearing: implications for perceiving speech and music via electric and acoustic stimulation. Adv. Otorhinolaryngol [print-electronic]. 2010; 67: 51-60. PMID: 19955721, PMCID: PMC3697738, PII: 000262596, DOI: 10.1159/000262596, ISSN: 0065-3071.

Narayana N, Gifford R, Giannini P, Casey J. Oral histoplasmosis: an unusual presentation. Head Neck. 2009 Feb; 31(2): 274-7. PMID: 18798316, DOI: 10.1002/hed.20882, ISSN: 1097-0347.

Roeser MM, Driscoll CL, Shallop JK, Gifford RH, Kasperbauer JL, Gluth MB. Susac syndrome--a report of cochlear implantation and review of otologic manifestations in twenty-three patients. Otol. Neurotol. 2009 Jan; 30(1): 34-40. PMID: 19108037, ISSN: 1537-4505.

Dorman MF, Gifford R, Lewis K, McKarns S, Ratigan J, Spahr A, Shallop JK, Driscoll CL, Luetje C, Thedinger BS, Beatty CW, Syms M, Novak M, Barrs D, Cowdrey L, Black J, Loiselle L. Word recognition following implantation of conventional and 10-mm hybrid electrodes. Audiol. Neurootol [print-electronic]. 2009; 14(3): 181-9. PMID: 19005252, PMCID: PMC2740743, PII: 000171480, DOI: 10.1159/000171480, ISSN: 1421-9700.

Gifford RH, Dorman MF, Spahr AJ, Bacon SP, Skarzynski H, Lorens A. Hearing preservation surgery: psychophysical estimates of cochlear damage in recipients of a short electrode array. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 2008 Oct; 124(4): 2164-73. PMID: 19062856, PMCID: PMC2736714, DOI: 10.1121/1.2967842, ISSN: 1520-8524.

Gifford RH, Shallop JK, Peterson AM. Speech recognition materials and ceiling effects: considerations for cochlear implant programs. Audiol. Neurootol [print-electronic]. 2008; 13(3): 193-205. PMID: 18212519, PII: 000113510, DOI: 10.1159/000113510, ISSN: 1421-9700.

Dorman MF, Gifford RH, Spahr AJ, McKarns SA. The benefits of combining acoustic and electric stimulation for the recognition of speech, voice and melodies. Audiol. Neurootol [print-electronic]. 2008; 13(2): 105-12. PMID: 18057874, PMCID: PMC3559130, PII: 000111782, DOI: 10.1159/000111782, ISSN: 1421-9700.

Gifford RH, Dorman MF, Spahr AJ, McKarns SA. Effect of digital frequency compression (DFC) on speech recognition in candidates for combined electric and acoustic stimulation (EAS). J. Speech Lang. Hear. Res. 2007 Oct; 50(5): 1194-202. PMID: 17905905, PMCID: PMC2441832, PII: 50/5/1194, DOI: 10.1044/1092-4388(2007/083), ISSN: 1092-4388.

Gifford RH, Bacon SP, Williams EJ. An examination of speech recognition in a modulated background and of forward masking in younger and older listeners. J. Speech Lang. Hear. Res. 2007 Aug; 50(4): 857-64. PMID: 17675591, PMCID: PMC2441836, PII: 50/4/857, DOI: 10.1044/1092-4388(2007/060), ISSN: 1092-4388.

Gifford RH, Dorman MF, McKarns SA, Spahr AJ. Combined electric and contralateral acoustic hearing: word and sentence recognition with bimodal hearing. J. Speech Lang. Hear. Res. 2007 Aug; 50(4): 835-43. PMID: 17675589, PMCID: PMC2441834, PII: 50/4/835, DOI: 10.1044/1092-4388(2007/058), ISSN: 1092-4388.

Dorman MF, Spahr T, Gifford R, Loiselle L, McKarns S, Holden T, Skinner M, Finley C. An electric frequency-to-place map for a cochlear implant patient with hearing in the nonimplanted ear. J. Assoc. Res. Otolaryngol [print-electronic]. 2007 Jun; 8(2): 234-40. PMID: 17351713, PMCID: PMC2441831, DOI: 10.1007/s10162-007-0071-1, ISSN: 1525-3961.

Gifford RH, Dorman MF, Spahr AJ, Bacon SP. Auditory function and speech understanding in listeners who qualify for EAS surgery. Ear Hear. 2007 Apr; 28(2 Suppl): 114S-118S. PMID: 17496661, PMCID: PMC2441833, PII: 00003446-200704001-00027, DOI: 10.1097/AUD.0b013e3180315455, ISSN: 0196-0202.

Gifford RH, Bacon SP. Psychophysical estimates of nonlinear cochlear processing in younger and older listeners. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 2005 Dec; 118(6): 3823-33. PMID: 16419827, PMCID: PMC2441835, ISSN: 0001-4966.

Gifford RH, Bacon SP. The effect of a steep high-frequency hearing loss on growth-of-masking functions in simultaneous masking for f(m). Hear. Res [print-electronic]. 2005 Oct; 208(1-2): 47-53. PMID: 16039077, PII: S0378-5955(05)00159-0, DOI: 10.1016/j.heares.2005.05.001, ISSN: 0378-5955.

Gifford RH, Bacon SP.
Contributions of suppression and excitation to simultaneous masking: effects of signal frequency and masker-signal frequency relation. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 2000 Apr; 107(4): 2188-200. PMID: 10790044, ISSN: 0001-4966.