Charles Limb, MD

Chief of Otology, Neurology and Skull Base Surgery
Otologist, neurotologist and skull base surgeon

Dr. Charles Limb is a specialist in ear disorders (otology), including neurological ear disorders (neurotology), as well as skull base surgery. He focuses particularly on treating hearing loss and auditory conditions. His expertise includes all surgeries of the temporal bone. Chief of the UCSF Division of Otology, Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery, he is also director of the UCSF Douglas Grant Cochlear Implant Center.

In his research, Limb has investigated the neural basis of musical creativity and has studied music perception in deaf individuals with cochlear implants.

Limb received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and his medical degree from Yale School of Medicine. He completed a residency and fellowship in otolaryngology – head and neck surgery at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Johns Hopkins Center for Hearing and Balance, and a second postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health.

Limb is the UCSF Francis A. Sooy Professor of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. Previously, he was associate professor of otolaryngology – head and neck surgery and a faculty member at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University.


Cochlear Implant Center at Mission Bay
1825 Fourth St., Fifth Floor, 5C
San Francisco, CA 94158-2351
Phone: (415) 353-2464
Fax: (415) 353-2603

Cochlear Implant Center at Mount Zion
2380 Sutter St., First Floor
San Francisco, CA 94115
Phone: (415) 353-2464
Fax: (415) 353-2603

More about Charles Limb


Yale School of Medicine 1996


Johns Hopkins Medicine, Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery 2002


Johns Hopkins Medicine, Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery 2003

Selected Research and Publications

  1. Cheever T, Taylor A, Finkelstein R, Edwards E, Thomas L, Bradt J, Holochwost SJ, Johnson JK, Limb C, Patel AD, Tottenham N, Iyengar S, Rutter D, Fleming R, Collins FS. NIH/Kennedy Center Workshop on Music and the Brain: Finding Harmony. Neuron. 2018 Mar 21; 97(6):1214-1218.
  2. Deroche MLD, Limb CJ, Chatterjee M, Gracco VL. Similar abilities of musicians and non-musicians to segregate voices by fundamental frequency. J Acoust Soc Am. 2017 Oct; 142(4):1739.
  3. Jiam NT, Caldwell MT, Limb CJ. What Does Music Sound Like for a Cochlear Implant User? Otol Neurotol. 2017 Sep; 38(8):e240-e247.
  4. Caldwell MT, Jiam NT, Limb CJ. Assessment and improvement of sound quality in cochlear implant users. Laryngoscope Investig Otolaryngol. 2017 Jun; 2(3):119-124.
  5. Dewyer NA, Jiradejvong P, Henderson Sabes J, Limb CJ. Automated smartphone audiometry: Validation of a word recognition test app. Laryngoscope. 2018 Mar; 128(3):707-712.
  6. Jiam NT, Limb CJ. The impact of round window vs cochleostomy surgical approaches on interscalar excursions in the cochlea: Preliminary results from a flat-panel computed tomography study. World J Otorhinolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2016 Sep; 2(3):142-147.
  7. Jiam NT, Jiradejvong P, Pearl MS, Limb CJ. The Effect of Round Window vs Cochleostomy Surgical Approaches on Cochlear Implant Electrode Position: A Flat-Panel Computed Tomography Study. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2016 09 01; 142(9):873-80.
  8. Jiam NT, Pearl MS, Carver C, Limb CJ. Flat-Panel CT Imaging for Individualized Pitch Mapping in Cochlear Implant Users. Otol Neurotol. 2016 07; 37(6):672-9.
  9. He A, Deroche ML, Doong J, Jiradejvong P, Limb CJ. Mandarin Tone Identification in Cochlear Implant Users Using Exaggerated Pitch Contours. Otol Neurotol. 2016 Apr; 37(4):324-31.
  10. Deroche ML, Kulkarni AM, Christensen JA, Limb CJ, Chatterjee M. Deficits in the Sensitivity to Pitch Sweeps by School-Aged Children Wearing Cochlear Implants. Front Neurosci. 2016; 10:73.
  11. Caldwell MT, Jiradejvong P, Limb CJ. Impaired Perception of Sensory Consonance and Dissonance in Cochlear Implant Users. Otol Neurotol. 2016 Mar; 37(3):229-34.
  12. Roy AT, Penninger RT, Pearl MS, Wuerfel W, Jiradejvong P, Carver C, Buechner A, Limb CJ. Deeper Cochlear Implant Electrode Insertion Angle Improves Detection of Musical Sound Quality Deterioration Related to Bass Frequency Removal. Otol Neurotol. 2016 Feb; 37(2):146-51.
  13. McPherson MJ, Barrett FS, Lopez-Gonzalez M, Jiradejvong P, Limb CJ. Emotional Intent Modulates The Neural Substrates Of Creativity: An fMRI Study of Emotionally Targeted Improvisation in Jazz Musicians. Sci Rep. 2016 Jan 04; 6:18460.
  14. Caldwell M, Rankin SK, Jiradejvong P, Carver C, Limb CJ. Cochlear implant users rely on tempo rather than on pitch information during perception of musical emotion. Cochlear Implants Int. 2015 Sep; 16 Suppl 3:S114-20.
  15. Roy AT, Carver C, Jiradejvong P, Limb CJ. Musical Sound Quality in Cochlear Implant Users: A Comparison in Bass Frequency Perception Between Fine Structure Processing and High-Definition Continuous Interleaved Sampling Strategies. Ear Hear. 2015 Sep-Oct; 36(5):582-90.
  16. Roy AT, Vigeant M, Munjal T, Carver C, Jiradejvong P, Limb CJ. Reverberation negatively impacts musical sound quality for cochlear implant users. Cochlear Implants Int. 2015 Sep; 16 Suppl 3:S105-13.
  17. Munjal T, Roy AT, Carver C, Jiradejvong P, Limb CJ. Use of the Phantom Electrode strategy to improve bass frequency perception for music listening in cochlear implant users. Cochlear Implants Int. 2015 Sep; 16 Suppl 3:S121-8.
  18. Chatterjee M, Zion DJ, Deroche ML, Burianek BA, Limb CJ, Goren AP, Kulkarni AM, Christensen JA. Voice emotion recognition by cochlear-implanted children and their normally-hearing peers. Hear Res. 2015 Apr; 322:151-62.
  19. Deroche ML, Lu HP, Limb CJ, Lin YS, Chatterjee M. Deficits in the pitch sensitivity of cochlear-implanted children speaking English or Mandarin. Front Neurosci. 2014; 8:282.
  20. Rankin SK, Limb CJ. Auditory-motor synchronization with temporally fluctuating sequences is dependent on fractal structure but not musical expertise. Front Psychol. 2014; 5:970.

Publications are derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and provided by UCSF Profiles, a service of the Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at UCSF. Researchers can make corrections and additions to their publications by logging on to UCSF Profiles.