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AUDITORY

Bimodal hearing in the hearing-impaired

Snandan Sharma (Project 9)

I am Snandan and with a gradual experience to hearing aid science through an acoustics based education I began PhD studies in Bimodal Hearing in HealthPAC in early 2015. Bimodal Hearing simply means two ways of hearing and i.e. electrical hearing through a cochlear implant (CI) and acoustic hearing via a hearing aid (HA). Presently I am studying sound spatial perception in people who listen through a CI in one ear and a HA in the same or contra-lateral ear. In order to ensure an optimal benefit to an individual using a hearing prosthesis it is important to understand which sound spatial cues they rely upon to localise sounds. This is achieved by performing sound localisation tasks in a dark sound proof room having a speakers arranged in 3D space. A participant’s response to a stimuli is measured through a head movement tracker. I am hoping to pilot first set of sound localisation experiments with Bimodal Listeners very soon. 

Bilateral cochlear implantation

Sebastian Ausili (Project 10)

So far, research concerning the effectiveness of bilateral cochlear implantation has mainly focused on primary auditive outcome measures, like speech perception, speech perception-in- noise and localization abilities. It has been shown that it is probable that bilateral implantation has added value compared to unilateral cochlear implantation in children and adults in these domains. However, the effects seem to be limited by the fact that CI’s are capable of transferring information regarding intensity and amplitude, but fall short regarding the transfer of temporal information. New coding strategies like fine structure processing may have some promise, but also new technology linking the two speech processors facilitating synchronisation, and microphone technology need to be explored. In the present project, we will conduct research evaluating primary auditive capacities in patients with current state of the art devices and strategies, combined with fundamental research on new hardware and strategies. Pilots, and clinical trials will be designed and conducted to explore and test new possibilities to extend the capacity of the implanted patients to improve their auditive capacity, making use of the squelch effect, ITD and ILD’s and spectral cues.

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