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Douglas Hartley

Consultant ENT Surgeon & Associate Professor in Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose and Throat Surgery), Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences


Expertise Summary

Ear, nose and throat conditions in adults and children, particularly hearing and balance disorders, chronic ear disease and cholesteatoma. Specialist in ear surgery, including mastoidectomy, bone-anchored hearing aids and cochlear implants.

Research Summary

He leads the Multisensory Brain Laboratory that is affiliated to the University of Nottingham's Division of Otolaryngology, the NIHR Nottingham Hearing Biomedical Research Unit (NHBRU), the MRC… read more

Recent Publications

He qualified with distinction from Newcastle Medical School, and was awarded a PhD (DPhil) from Oxford University in the field of hearing research. He worked as a Clinical Lecturer in ENT Surgery at Oxford University, and was fortunate to be the first recipient of a Wellcome Trust Clinician Scientist Fellowship in Otolaryngology: the second recipient across any surgical specialty. He spent time as a Surgical Fellow at the Sydney Cochlear Implant Centre, after becoming a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS ORL-HNS), and completing his higher surgical training at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

Currently, he is Associate Professor of Otolaryngology at Nottingham University and an ENT consultant surgeon at Nottingham University Hospital's NHS Trust - Queen's Medical Centre. He is a member of the British Cochlear Implant Group, British Association of Otolaryngologists - Head and Neck Surgeons, and the British Society of Otology. He serves on the Translational grant review committee for Action on Hearing Loss, the council for the Otolaryngolocial Research Society and reviews papers for several international journals.

Current Research

He leads the Multisensory Brain Laboratory that is affiliated to the University of Nottingham's Division of Otolaryngology, the NIHR Nottingham Hearing Biomedical Research Unit (NHBRU), the MRC Institute of Hearing Research (IHR) and the Nottingham Auditory Implant Programme


  • Doug Hartley is an Associate Professor in Otolaryngology at the University of Nottingham and an Consultant ENT Surgeon at the NUH NHS Trust


  • Rebecca Dewey is a Nottingham University funded Post-doc based at NBRUH
  • Ian Wiggins is an NBRUH funded Post-doc based at NBRUH
  • Nuno Gama is a Nottingham University funded PhD student based at the MRC IHR
  • Carly Anderson NBRUH funded PhD student based at NBRUH

Our brains combine information from multiple senses, including hearing, vision and touch, in order to effectively interact with the world around us. Our laboratory is interested in the brain's ability to combine information across multiple senses, and what happens to this sensory integration following deprivation in one modality. We are particularly interested in the relationship between the perceptual capabilities of cochlear implant candidates and the responsiveness of their brains to auditory and non-auditory stimulation.

We record brain activity using emerging technology, namely near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), that is particularly well-suited for use in individuals with cochlear implants, since it is unaffected by the surgically-implanted magnet and electrical artifact. In parallel studies, we use a deafness model to better understand the mechanisms underlying multisensory integration within the brain.

Dr. Rebecca Dewey, a post-doctoral researcher within our group, measures multimodal brain activity using NIRS in normal-hearing and deaf individuals. To overcome potential limitations of this neuro-imaging technique, for some recordings, we use a combination of NIRS and fMRI. Another post-doctoral researcher, Dr. Ian Wiggins, uses NIRS to study effects of cochlear implantation on multimodal activity within the developing and adult brain. Nuno Gama is a PhD student based at the MRC IHR who studies mechanisms underlying multimodal brain responses using a deafness model. Carly Anderson, a PhD student based at NBRUH, uses NIRS to assess multisensory integration of visual activity derived from speech reading, with activity derived from hearing speech with a cochlear implant.

Together this research may provide valuable insights into mechanisms underlying variable cochlear implant outcomes, and could help develop clinically-useful prognostic tools for cochlear implant recipients. We also aim to develop novel strategies for the rehabilitation patients with hearing loss and cochlear implants, in addition to evaluating standard clinical therapies.


School of Medicine

University of Nottingham
Medical School
Nottingham, NG7 2UH

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