Central auditory processing in HIV-positive individuals

Project: Research project

Project Details


Our current results from China show a strong negative relationship between cognitive performance and the ability to understand speech in noise. This raises the possibility that central nervous system effects of HIV infection could be assessed using central auditory test batteries. Central auditory effects might appear earlier than or independently from other neurological or neuropsychological test findings, so detecting these changes could complement or enhance current testing methods. For central auditory effects to be used as a biomarker, however, the central auditory findings need to be correlated with central nervous system damage. This supplement will allow for neuroimaging to detect central nervous system abnormalities in HIV+ people both with and without HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder. This study will correlate the performance on the central auditory tests (gap detection, speech-in-noise, frequency-following response) with signs of inflammation (by magnetic resonance spectroscopy), white matter damage (by diffusion tensor imaging), and functional connectivity (by functional magnetic resonance imaging) in auditory-relevant brain areas. These data will show whether central auditory tests could serve as a “window” into central nervous HIV effects, which would offer a new and potentially improved way to assess the central neurological co-morbidities of HIV infection.
Effective start/end date10/1/168/31/18


  • Dartmouth College (R906 // 5R01DC014369-03 REVISED)
  • National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (R906 // 5R01DC014369-03 REVISED)


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