Prof. Liat Kishon-Rabin

Department of Communication Disorders
Medicine Dean & Assoc. Deans
חוג למודי הפרעות בתקשורת סגל אקדמי בכיר


Prof. Liat Kishon-Rabin, PhD

Dean of Innovation in Teaching & Learning

Professor of Communication Disorders, Steyer School of Health Professions, Sackler Faculty of Medicine

President of EFAS (European Federation of  Auditory Societies) 2021-2023





  • Serves as Dean, Innovation in Teaching & Learning

  • Previously held the position of Head of the Steyer School of Health Professions and the position of Head of the Communication Disorders Department at TAU for nine years  

  • Awarded with a Ph.D. degree in 1990 for her research in the area of psychoacoustics from the Speech & Hearing Science Department at the Graduate Center, City University of New York.

  • Committee Member, Israel Auditory Society of Research

  • Published over 100 peer-reviewed articles and several book chapters in the areas of speech science, psychoacoustics, and the effects of hearing loss and the use of cochlear implants on the development of speech perception and production in infants, children and adults

  • Led the development of highly equipped state-of-the-art psychoacoustic and speech perception labs for testing hearing impaired individuals with cochlear implants and/or hearing aids across the life span (from infancy to older adults)

  • Developed with her team a hierarchy of speech perception tests each tapping on to different levels of auditory versus linguistic processing. These were developed in both Hebrew and Arabic. Recent development (in collaboration with Oldenberg University, Germany) is a computerized test which allows to assess the perception of 100,000 Hebrew sentences in background noise.  The test (Matrix ) is being used successfully for training the perception of speech in noise in diverse populations (eg., elderly, hearing impaired with cochlear implant or hearing aids, children with autistic spectrum disorders and attentional disorders). These have been implemented in many clinics in Israel as well as in academic settings

  • Received numerous invitations as a guest lecturer or keynote speaker at prestigious international conferences for her research on cochlear implants

  • Awarded The Graham Fraser Memorial Lecture for 2017 by the British Cochlear Implant Group (BCIG) which stated that "the award was based on the quality of the research and the contribution to the field of cochlear implantation"

  • Awarded several grants (including the Binational Science Foundation and the Chief Scientist of the Health Ministry) for investigating the early acquisition of language and auditory skills in infants with cochlear implants and the contribution of non-sensory factors to auditory processing in children with specific language impairment compared to typically developing

  • Established and heads the first B.A. program in Communication Disorders for the ultra-orthodox community in Israel and the first Orthodox program at TAU. The program is ongoing, starting its 13th year with close to 200 graduates. This is a pioneering contribution for academic vocational training at TAU as it focuses on ultra-orthodox Jews and their integration in modern Israel health systems and society

  • Established and heads the first M.A. in Communication Disorders for the ultra-orthodox in Israel. This program runs periodically and has graduated 20 students from the ultra-orthodox community

  • Established a Community Outreach Program – Language intervention program in five municipalities reaching out to infants and children from low socio-economic backgrounds from 3 months to 6 years of age. The program includes direct intervention with the children, as well as, counseling for the parents and caregivers.  Over the last 3 years, the intervention was provided to over 2500 children.

  • Serves on numerous committees at the Faculty and University level as well as at the Council for Higher Education and Planning & Budgeting Committee




‘Bottom-Up’ and ‘Top-Down’ Processes in Human Auditory Perception and Recognition

Our research focuses on understanding the influence and relative contribution of sensory information (“bottom-up” processes) compared to cognitive capabilities and listening experience (“top-down” processes) on the perception of speech and language development. We test our hypotheses in a range of special populations including hearing-impaired infants, children and adults with cochlear implants and/or hearing aids, children on the autistic spectrum, bilingual and trilingual children and adults and middle-aged and elderly adults. We always compare performance with the typically developing population. We develop tests that are aimed to assess different levels of sensory, linguistic and cognitive processing. These include psychoacoustic tests of frequency, temporal and intensity resolution that involve nonspeech auditory stimuli, linguistic tests that involve phonetic, word, and sentence material in optimal and degraded or difficult listening conditions (e.g. background noise, time-compressed speech, multitalker, multi-accented) and cognitive tasks, such as, selective auditory attention using auditory adaptation of the ‘stroop’ task for attending relevant and irrelevant  nformation (e.g. lexical-emotional stroop). In order to understand the influence of repeated exposure to auditory stimuli on performance, we train our subjects in single- or in multiple sessions thus providing us with insights to the auditory memory systems. We use different training tasks that involve the implicit and explicit memory systems that are assumed to be analogoues to language learing in infants and in older children. We utilze primarily behavioral measures that are occasionally supplemented with electriphysiological measures.


Our studies are conducted in an infant speech perception/language lab which is unique of its kind in the country and is equipped to test different infant populations with behavioral techniques, and in an acoustically treated state-of-the art psychoacoustic lab. Understanding the factors that influence speech perception throughout the life span have important implications in the design of aural rehabilitation for the hearing impaired and intervention protocols in populations with developmental delays.




Patael S*, Shamir J*, Soffer T, Livne E, Grinwald H, Kishon-Rabin L. (2022).  Remote proctoring: Lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic effect on the large-scale on-line assessment at Tel Aviv University. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning.

Levin-Asher B, Segal O, Kishon-Rabin L. (2022). The validity of LENA technology for assessing the linguistic environment and interactions of infants-learning Hebrew and Arabic. Behavior Research Methods.

Kawar K, Kishon-Rabin, L, Segal, O. (2022). Identification and comprehension of narrow focus by Arabic-speaking adolescents with moderate to profound hearing loss. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research.

Segal, O., Kligler, N., & Kishon-Rabin, L. (2021). Infants' Preference for Child-Directed Speech Over Time-Reversed Speech in On-Channel and Off-Channel Masking. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research64(7), 2897-2908

Chordekar S, Perez R, Adelman C, Sohmer H, Kishon-Rabin L. (2021). The effect of soft tissue stimulation on skull vibrations and hearing thresholds in humans. Otology & Neurotology. 42 (4), 598-605.  (Accepted September 2020)

Zaltz Y, Bugannim, Y, Doreen Zechoval, Kishon-Rabin, L*, Ronen Perez* (2020). Listening in noise remains a significant challenge for cochlear implant users: Evidence from early deafened and those with progressive hearing loss compared to peers with normal hearing. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 9, 1381; doi:10.3390/jcm9051381. *share last authorship

Zaltz Y, Kishon-Rabin L, Karni A, Ari-Even Roth D (2020). Practice makes transfer imperfect – evidence from auditory learning. Ear & Hearing. 41(6):1470-1482.

Zaltz Y, Goldsworthy R, Eisenberg L, Kishon-Rabin L. (2020). Children with normal hearing are efficient users of fundamental frequency and vocal tract length cues for voice discrimination. Ear and Hearing. 41(1):182–193.

Zaltz Y, Ari-Even Roth D, Amir N, Kishon-Rabin L (2019). A logarithmic versus a linear change in step size when using an adaptive threshold- seeking procedure in a frequency discrimination task: When does it matter? Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research.

Ferman S, Kishon-Rabin L, Ganot H, Karni A. (2019). Deficits in explicit language problem solving rather than in implicit learning in SLI: Evidence from learning an artificial morphological rule. Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research.

Zaltz Y, Goldsworthy R, Eisenberg L, Kishon-Rabin L. (2019). Children with normal hearing are efficient users of fundamental frequency and vocal tract length cues for voice discrimination. Ear and Hearing. 2019 May 15. doi: 10.1097/AUD.0000000000000743. [Epub ahead of print].

Bugannim Y, Ari-Even Roth D, Zechoval D, Kishon-Rabin L. (2019). Training of  speech perception in noise in prelingual hearing-impaired adults with cochlear implants compared to normal hearing adults. Otology & Neurotology, 40, 316-325.

Zaltz Y, Ari-Even Roth D, Karni A, Kishon-Rabin L (2018). Long-term training-induced gains of an auditory skill in school-age children as compared to adults. Trends in Hearing. (accepted for publication 29.6.2018).

Chordekar S, Perez R, Adelman C, Sohmer H, Kishon-Rabin L. (2018). Does hearing in response to soft-tissue stimulation involve skull vibrations? A within-subject comparison between skull vibration magnitudes and hearing thresholds. Hearing Research.doi:10/1016/j.heares.201803.030

Zaltz Y, Goldsworthy R, Kishon-Rabin L, Eisenberg L. (2018). Voice discrimination by adults with cochlear implants: the benefits of early implantation for vocal-tract length perception. Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology.

For a full list of Publications click here


Keynote Speaker Invitations

Selected International Keynote Speaker Invitations

  • Workshop on age-related hearing loss- Med-El, NYC, USA, 2017. Brain Plasticity in the Elderly: Evidence from Auditory Training

  • European Federations of Audiological Societies (EFAS) Congress, Interlaken, Switzerland, 2017. Expert panel on cochlear implants and implantable hearing devices in single sided deafness

  • British Cochlear Implant Group (BCIG) Annual Meeting, Birmingham, England 2017. Graham Fraser Memorial Lecture Award. To what extent do cochlear implants meet the challenge of hearing in noise

  • 13th European Symposium of Paediatric Cochlear Implantation, Lisbon, Portugal, 2017. Expert panel on Single-sided Deafness

  • VII International Symposium on Childhood Deafness, Naples Italy 2017. Masterclass in diagnostic and treatment of hearing loss in children


For the Full list of Keynote Speaker Invitation click here



  • 1988 Scientific Exhibit Award: Excellence of Presentation, ASHA Annual Convention, Boston, USA         
  • 2005 Best Poster award.  Medical Fair. Tel Aviv University  (with Prof. C. Muchnik & Bula Friedman)

  • 2006 Best Poster award.  Medical Fair. Tel Aviv University 

  • 2012 Best 100 Lecturers   מועדון המאה Tel Aviv University         

  • 2014 Best 100 Lecturersמועדון המאה   Tel Aviv University          

  • 2015 Best 100 Lecturers מועדון המאה  Tel Aviv University

  • 2017 Graham Fraser Memorial Lecture. British Cochlear Implant Group (BCIG). England   


From The News

'Together': the multi-professional course for developing teamwork
 October 26, 2022

A unique mandatory course was opened this year at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine, with the aim of improving the quality of care while taking a broad and holistic view of the patient, and strengthening teamwork between the various care providers. The course, called 'Together: The Multi-Professional Course for Developing Teamwork', includes the majority of students of medicine and the health professions who study for a bachelor's degree, and about 450 students from the fields of medicine, physical therapy, nursing, communication disorders and occupational therapy participate in it. The faculty explains that this is the first course of its kind in Israel that brings together such a large number of professions in the fields of health that are involved in the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of patients with the aim of developing multi-professional teamwork, and in fact it provides its graduates with unique tools that will help them in their professional work.

"The 'Together' course allows for the first time male and female students from five different medical and health professions to learn from each other about the various aspects of the patient. Until now, each student has learned only what is relevant to his field. Also, the course allows to strengthen skills such as the ability to integrate information, self-learning , evaluating peers, self-reflection, accepting criticism, and respecting other professions, and this in addition to developing teamwork. These are important skills in professional training with implications for providing better, more efficient and safer care to the patient," explains Prof. Liat Kishon-Rabin, Dean of Innovation in Teaching and Learning .

For further reading:




South Tel Aviv School is a Model for Language Intervention
Thursday, October 27, 2011


TAU researchers give children of immigrants and foreign workers a chance to overcome language barriers

Bialik-Rogozin, a school in South Tel Aviv with an underprivileged student body hailing from 48 different countries, is the subject of the 2011 Oscar-winning documentary short Strangers No More. But before the cameras rolled, researchers at Tel Aviv University had been helping its students overcome the barriers to language development that often handicap children raised by immigrants or refugees.


Their program, which involves group and one-on-one sessions with clinicians and Tel Aviv University students, is run by Prof. Liat Kishon-Rabin of TAU’s Department of Communication Disorders at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine. Her program takes a multipronged approach to help students improve in different areas of language acquisition, including comprehension skills, vocabulary, and writing.


Presented at the annual Israeli Speech and Hearing Association Conference by senior clinician Shira Cohen, this model can be implemented across the globe, the researchers say. Many countries are home to such immigrant or refugee families, where children could be getting increased support for language development. The program, funded by the Landa Foundation, has been an unqualified success.


A multilingual background means multiple challenges

The population of the school at Bialik-Rogozin is made up of a large number of refugees fleeing their home countries to make a better life for themselves abroad. With often tumultuous pasts that include few educational opportunities, these children are facing many challenges — among them low socioeconomic status, behavior issues, and delayed language development.


"Many of these children don't actually have a 'mother tongue,'" says Prof. Kishon-Rabin, explaining that often, parents emigrate from separate countries, and do not share a common first language to pass on to their children. "At home, their parents often speak broken English or Hebrew, and the child is only exposed to this pigeon-like speech. They're exposed to three or more languages, but none of them are spoken properly." Intervention began when a group at Tel Aviv University decided to offer the students hearing tests, and during these tests the researchers discovered how poor the students' language development was.


Beginning with a group of 24 students in first grade, Prof. Kishon-Rabin and her team, which included Cohen, Dr Shoshie Rabinowitz, and other trained speech therapists as well as students from TAU's Department of Communications Disorders, provided weekly sessions with special emphasis on natural and social language skills to help the children develop efficient communication in and outside of the classroom.


Over the course of the year-long program, the students not only showed an improvement in their language skills, their overall academic performance improved as well. The teachers noted an increase in the students' verbal communication, self confidence, participation and progress in reading and writing when compared to a control group.


Stepping up educational support

Relying on funding from outside sources, the program is currently limited in its reach, says Prof. Kishon-Rabin. This is an issue that schools all over the world face as well. Many schools are not even allocated speech therapy hours, and those that do have such courses are extremely limited in their scope.


School boards should make more of an effort to meet the language needs of their multicultural populations, she suggests. Some positive steps would include the hiring of full time clinicians, the provision of better training for teachers on language development, and the incorporation of this content into the normal curriculum. Such programs also help train the next generation of clinicians, who receive hands-on experience. The Tel Aviv University students who have volunteered experience high satisfaction from the help they provide, reports Prof. Kishon-Rabin. "It's a win-win situation," she observes.


Currently, the program is going full steam ahead into the next academic year, and Prof. Kishon-Rabin hopes that the necessary funding will follow. She is also pioneering another community project set to start in the fall which will encourage greater involvement from teachers, parents, and other community members. "The more the parents are involved, the better the outcome of therapy with the children will be," she says.


For additional news excerpts click here


Supervision of Graduate Students

Supervision of Ph.D. Students (graduation year)

Shai Chordekar (2014- ). "Excitation of the auditory system by vibratory stimulation through non-osseous conduction". Co-supervised with Prof. Haim Sohmer (Hebrew University)


Bonnie Asher (2014-  ). "The quantity, quality and temporal patterns of the dyadic communication exchange in infants 3 & 6 months old from low and high socioeconomic status"


Yael Zaltz (2016). The characteristics of auditory-procedural learning in children and adults". Co-supervised with Prof Avi Karni (Haifa U)


Liora Levy (2012).  "A response theory of the emotional stroop effect. Co-supervised with Prof D. Algom (Psychology TAU) & Eran Hayut (Open university)


Eitan Globerson (2012). The Effect of Auditory Perceptual Abilities and Theory of Mind on Receptive Prosodic Abilities in the General Population and the Autistic Spectrum". Co-supervised with Dr N Amir (TAU), Dr O. Golan (BIU) & Prof M. Lavidor (BIU)


Osnat Segal (2011).  "The perception of stress patterns in normal-hearing Hebrew babies"


Michal Icht (2009). "Directed forgetting of words". Co-supervised with Prof D. Algom (Psychology, TAU) & Eran Hayut (Open university)


Riki Taitelbaum-Swead (2008).  Acoustic cues to the perception of the initial stop voicing contrast in Hebrew speaking children and adults. Co-supervised with Prof. M. Hildesheimer


Riki Kaplan-Neeman (2008).  "The identification of speech stimuli in background noise by young adults: Behavioral and  electrophysiological measures". Co-supervised with Prof. C. Muchnik


Daphna Ari-Even Roth (2007). Training identification of speech-in-noise in normal hearing subjects : time course and  constraints in adult auditory system plasticity. Co-supervised with Prof. M. Hildesheimer & Prof Avi Karni (Haifa U)



Consultation of Ph.D. students

Yael Seligsohn Henkin (2000). "Auditory event related potentials in diopathic generalized epilapsy of childhood". Supervised  by Profs. Gadoth and Pratt


Hanna Putter-Katz (2000). "Event related potentials during auditory perceptual tasks in learning-disabled children".  Supervised by Profs. Gadoth and Pratt.


For a list of M.A. students' supervision click here


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