Dona Jayakody

BSc (Aud & SLP), MSc (Aud & SLP), PhD, AFAIM
Head of Brain & Hearing
Research Lead | Cognition and Hearing Loss


I’m leading a research team that’s trying to prevent the development of dementia by treating hearing loss.

Dr Dona Jayakody received her PhD in Audiology at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. She currently leads the Australian Cognition and Hearing Loss Project (ACHLOS) at Ear Science Institute Australia. Her research focus on (i) identification of the causal association between hearing loss and dementia, (ii) development of central hearing assessments that would help to identify those at risk of dementia, (iii) investigation of the impact of hearing loss rehabilitation, using hearing aids and cochlear implants, on cognitive function of hearing-impaired older adults and (iv) investigating the association between central auditory processing skills and dementia in Aboriginal Australians.

Dr Jayakody also leads the ‘HearCog trial’, a randomised control trial (2019-2024) investigating the use of hearing aids to treat hearing loss in older adults who are at risk of developing dementia.

As the research lead for the ACHLOS Project at ESIA, Dr Jayakody developed solid & effective partnerships to ensure uptake & adoption of her research into practice & policy. To date, Dr Jayakody received $3.3 million funding from national and international funding schemes. She has been invited to share her research findings at various national and international conferences (18 invited, > 70 national and international scientific sessions).

To date, she has supervised postdoc, 2 PhD thesis, 2 international visiting scholars, 3 Honours, 1 Masters preliminary & 4 Masters in Audiology projects to completion. Currently, she is supervising 4 PhD, 4 Masters and 2 visiting scholar projects.

In giving back to the sector, Dr Jayakody is an associate and a review editor for Frontiers in Neuroscience and an international editorial board member for the Journal of Audiology and Otology. She regularly reviews journal articles for Nature, BMC, Frontiers, International Journal of Audiology, Laryngoscope, Biomed Research International and the Journal of Hearing Sciences. She also reviews grants for the NHMRC, MRFF, Alzheimer’s Research-UK, and Action on Hearing Loss- Deafness Research Foundation, UK.

Top publications

Jayakody DMP et al. Hearing aids to support cognitive functions of older adults at risk of dementia: HearCog trial, BMC Geriatrics, 2020;20(1):508. 10.1186/s12877-020-01912-1

Jayakody DMP et al. The Peripheral Hearing and Central Auditory Processing Skills of Individuals with Subjective Cognitive Decline. Frontiers in Neuroscience,

Jayakody DMP et al. (2018). association between speech and high-frequency hearing loss and depression, anxiety & stress in older adults. Maturitas, 110, 86-91 DOI:

Jayakody DMP et al. (2018). A novel study on the association between hearing loss & cognitive functions of older adults: Clinical Otolaryngology, 43, 182-191. DOI: 10.1111/coa.12937

Jayakody DMP et al. (2018). Impact of Aging on the Auditory System and Related Cognitive Functions: A Narrative Review. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 12(125). DOI: 10.3389/fnins.2018.00125

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