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About Sickkids
About SickKids

Karen A. Gordon, PhD, CCC-A, Reg. CASLPO

The Hospital for Sick Children
Cochlear Implant Program

Research Institute
Senior Scientist
Neurosciences & Mental Health

University of Toronto
Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery

Graduate Faculty Member
Institute of Medical Science

Adjunct Associate Professor
Speech Language Pathology

Phone: 416-813-7259
Fax: 416-813-5036
Email: karen-a.gordon@sickkids.ca

For more information, visit:

Archie's Cochlear Implant Lab

Brief Biography

Karen Gordon, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Otolaryngology and a graduate faculty member in the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto.  She works at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, as a senior scientist in the Research Institute and an audiologist in the Department of Communication Disorders.  She is Director of Research in Archie’s Cochlear Implant Laboratory and holds the Bastable-Potts Health Clinician Scientist Award in Hearing Impairment and Cochlear Americas Chair of Auditory Development. Dr. Gordon's research focuses on auditory development in children who are deaf and use auditory prostheses including cochlear implants.   Her work is supported by research funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research along with the Cochlear Americas Chair in Auditory Development and generous donations.

Research Interests

Dr. Gordon is an active member of the cochlear implant team, responsible for determining candidacy for cochlear implantation of children applying to the program and monitoring children who are using either a single cochlear implant or bilateral cochlear implants.

Her research focuses on auditory development in children who have severe to profound hearing loss. She is investigating the effects of deafness along the auditory pathways and asking how auditory development might best be promoted through an auditory prosthesis which is surgically implanted in the cochlea. Her early studies examined changes in the auditory nerve, brainstem, thalamus and cortex in children using a unilateral cochlear implant. That work defined the time course of activity-dependent development in the auditory nerve and brainstem and identified important differences between changes occurring in the brainstem compared to thalamo-cortical areas of the auditory pathways.

She is currently asking whether auditory development promoted by a single cochlear implant compromises the ability of the contralateral pathways to change once the second ear is implanted and whether the auditory pathways are able to integrate information provided by two separate prostheses. Dr. Gordon and her team are using electrophysiological and behavioral measures in children using bilateral cochlear implants to answer these questions.

In the future, she intends to extend these studies to examine multimodal influences on the auditory development promoted by unilateral and bilateral cochlear implant use which may have implications for therapy techniques used to teach children to hear through these devices.