Sebastian and Snandan visited HealthPAC's associated partner University College London on 22nd, 23rd and 26th of October 2015 as a part of HealthPACs scientific exchange program. We primarily visited two institutes, The UCL Ear Institute and the Institute of Language Sciences.

The UCL Ear Institute invests its research in studying deafness from clinical perspective to genetics.  We first met Dr. Maria Chait and Dr. Torsten Marquardt; both of them PIs at the institute.  One of the present research interests of Maria is auditory scene analysis and we got a short description of her project from her post doc Ulrich Pomper. They are working on the design of a smart hearing aid that works on noise segregation upon incorporating visual cues.  Torsten gave us a tour of the whole institute while briefing upon the groups in their institute and their works domains. We also met Atilla, a PhD student of Torsten who is working on COMOSOL based finite element modeling of the cochlea with a set of electrodes embedded in the cochlea.  He gave a short demonstration of the model describing the questions he is trying to research upon, namely- how does the insertion depth of the electrode and shape of the electrode affects the fluid dynamics of the perilymph and thus effecting the impedance in the cochlea.

Finite element box model of a human cochlea with an electrode: Photo Courtesy: Frater Atilla, The Ear Institute, UCL, London

We also met Dr. Debi Vickers, another P.I at the institute, who is working on speech perception and binaural processing. We got a first hand demonstration of one of the speech perception in noise experiments from her PhD student Dr. Rajeev Mathew who is an ENT surgeon. The setup is show in the top picture.