Professor Sharma’s research focuses on the impact of hearing loss on the brain. She is currently examining the effects of auditory deprivation (ranging from mild-moderate hearing loss to profound deafness) on development and re-organization of the central auditory pathways, and on cross-modal compensatory plasticity from visual and somatosensory modalities. Dr. Sharma is also interested in the effects of intervention with hearing aids and cochlear implants on cortical plasticity and behavioral outcomes. Dr. Sharma is interested in neuroplasticity at both ends of the age spectrum (infants and young children, as well as age-related hearing loss in older adults).
Dr. Sharma and her research team are conducting studies using evoked potentials and high-density EEG in adults and children with normal hearing, hearing loss and auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder. She directs a state-of-the-art laboratory where students perform electrophysiology testing (using auditory, visual and somatosensory stimulation) source localization and EEG brain dynamics as well as speech perception and cognitive behavioral experiments.
Dr. Sharma also directs a clinical laboratory where she is performing research to assess the sensitivity of cortical potentials as clinical biomarkers to determine the maturational status of the central auditory system in persons with hearing loss. Dr. Sharma’s research is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
More information can be found on her Brain and Behavior Laboratory website.