Science Faculty Spotlight: Carol A. Silverman

November 27, 2018

Carol A Silverman

Carol A Silverman is Professor of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology at Hunter College and is a faculty member of the CUNY Graduate Center’s Doctoral Program in Audiology and PhD Program in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences. Currently, she is serving as Deputy Executive Officer of the AuD Program at the Graduate Center. She has been with the Graduate Center’s AuD Program since its inception. Professor Silverman also is Adjunct Professor of Otorhinolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at New York Medical College. Previously, she held an appointment as Hearing Scientist and Epidemiologist in the Departments of Otorhinolaryngology and Communicative Sciences at New York Eye & Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai in New York City. Her BA is from Wellesley College and her graduate degrees include a PhD in Audiology from New York University, and an MPH in Quantitative Epidemiology from New York Medical College.

Professor Silverman’s research focuses on auditory deprivation, various aspects of diagnostic audiology including acoustic immittance, and most recently on binaural interference. Her latest textbook, Binaural Interference, co-authored with James Jerger, was published in 2018. Binaural interference refers to abnormal binaural processing, as evidenced by behavioral including psychoacoustic, and electrophysiologic measures such as the auditory evoked potentials. One manifestation of binaural interference is poorer performance on auditory measures under the condition of binaural stimulation than under the monaural stimulation condition. Binaural interference can adversely affect (a) benefit from binaural hearing aids; (b) auditory function in challenging situations such as in noise, group, situations, and reverberant environments; and (c) ability to localize sound. Dr. Silverman also co-authored on article on binaural interference which was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology in 2017.

Dr. Silverman’s interest in binaural interference is an outgrowth of her earlier research on auditory deprivation, which is the decline on measures of speech-recognition or auditory evoked potentials despite the absence of decline on audiometric, pure-tone hearing sensitivity. The decline is often seen in individuals with hearing loss in both ears who wear a hearing aid only in one ear, resulting in lack of sufficient auditory stimulation to the unaided ear. Her research with her colleagues shows that this decline in persons with hearing loss can be prevented with binaural amplification, and the decline sometimes is reversible with the introduction of amplification to the formerly unamplified ear.  Her research on this topic has been published in several journals, including Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, and Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development. As co-principal investigator, her research on this topic was supported by funding from the Department of Medicine and Surgery, Rehabilitation Research and Development, Veterans Administration over a period of about 10 years.

During the period in which Dr. Silverman was a Hearing Scientist and Epidemiologist Departments of Otorhinolaryngology and Communicative Sciences at New York Eye & Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai in New York City, she and her colleagues examined efficacy of and maintenance issues associated with sensory aids for deafness including cochlear implants and the bone-anchored hearing aids (BAHA). The research on the BAHA was supported by The Jacob and Valeria Langeloth Foundation. The findings on cochlear implants and the BAHA were published in the Journal of Otology & Neurotology, Cochlear Implants International, and Laryngoscope.

Within the area of acoustic immittance, Dr. Silverman’s dissertation was on the relation of age and sex to acoustic reflex threshold. Her dissertation was published in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, and she has published extensively with colleagues on acoustic immittance, particularly in relation to middle-ear effusion to children.

Dr. Silverman received the New York State Speech-Language-Hearing Association Distinguished Achievement Award in 2002; the New York City Speech, Hearing and Language Professional Achievement Award in 1999, and was a 1999 Honoree of the New York Chapter of the Friends of Jamaica Association for the Deaf.