Auditory scene analysis and signal processing in normal-hearing, hearing-impaired and cochlear-implant subjects

Lead Research Organisation: MRC Institute of Hearing Research

Abstract

Subjects with one deaf ear who have difficulties in localising sound and understanding speech in noisy conditions currently receive a hearing aid that redirects sounds at the deaf ear to the hearing ear. While improving audibility this does not solve the underlying difficulties. Such subjects may now receive a cochlear implant in the deaf ear. We are therefore conducting clinical trial across such subjects from five UK implant centres to compare the benefits of using the crossed hearing aid system to those from cochlear implantation. Participants will travel to the MRC IHR in Nottingham where their ability to understand speech and to locate sounds in space will be assessed under controlled conditions in specialist hearing laboratories.

Technical Summary

Individuals with a profound hearing loss in one ear only (referred to as single-side deafness or SSD) report substantial difficulty with understanding speech in noise environments and with locating sounds in the environment around them. On the UK National Health Service, these individuals would currently be provided with a Contralateral Routing of Signals (CROS) hearing aid. A CROS aid picks up sound on the side of the deaf ear and delivers it to the hearing ear. While a CROS can help individuals hear sounds located on the side of their deaf ear, it does not improve the ability to separate speech from background noise or the ability to locate sounds in space. Improving these abilities would require some level of hearing to be restored to the deaf ear.

One method of restoring some useful aspects of hearing is cochlear implantation in which an electrode array is inserted into the inner ear. Cochlear implantation may be beneficial to individuals with SSD by improving their ability to cope with noisy environments and their ability to locate sounds around them. We are therefore conducting a clinical trial to compare the benefits of using a CROS system to the benefits of cochlear implantation.
Participants in the trial will be assessed before receiving any treatment (baseline), after using a CROS system for 3 months, and after using a cochlear implant using it for 9 months. Participants will complete a range of questionnaires throughout the study to assess the impact of the devices on their quality of life. Participants will also travel to the MRC IHR in Nottingham where their ability to understand speech and to locate sounds in space will be assessed under controlled conditions in specialist hearing laboratories.

The study is being run by the partnership of the MRC IHR and the NIHR Nottingham Hearing Biomedical Research Unit. Participants are currently being recruited at five UK cochlear implantation centres around the UK.

Recruitment into the trial is now 90% complete with all participants having completed the baseline assessments and the majority of participants having completed their CROS trial. Two patients in the trial have recently received their cochlear implant with several other surgeries scheduled in the coming weeks.

Publications

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Grimsley JM (2011) Development of social vocalizations in mice. in PloS one

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Kerber S (2013) Localization in reverberation with cochlear implants: predicting performance from basic psychophysical measures. in Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology : JARO

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Monaghan JJ (2013) Factors affecting the use of envelope interaural time differences in reverberation. in The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America

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Pierzycki RH (2014) Comodulation masking release in electric hearing. in Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology : JARO

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Pierzycki RH (2010) Indications for temporal fine structure contribution to co-modulation masking release. in The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America

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Seeber BU (2011) Failure of the precedence effect with a noise-band vocoder. in The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America

 
Description RNID summer studentship
Amount £1,200 (GBP)
Organisation Action on Hearing Loss 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2011 
End 08/2011
 
Description Travel award for team (Ian Wiggins)
Amount $800 (USD)
Organisation University of Southern California 
Department International Hearing Aid Research Conference (IHCON)
Sector Academic/University
Country United States
Start 07/2012 
End 08/2012
 
Description Travel awards for group
Amount £570 (GBP)
Organisation University of Nottingham 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description Travel awards for group
Amount £1,150 (GBP)
Organisation Action on Hearing Loss 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description Travel awards for group
Amount £1,985 (GBP)
Organisation Guarantors of Brain 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description Travel awards for group
Amount £250 (GBP)
Organisation Institute of Physics (IOP) 
Sector Learned Society
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Description Travel awards for group
Amount £500 (GBP)
Organisation Experimental Psychology Society (EPS) 
Sector Learned Society
Country United Kingdom
Start  
 
Title Anechoic chamber setup for spatial hearing research 
Description Dedicated setup in anechoic chamber for research on spatial hearing with sound playback via multiple loudspeakers, with room simulation and with an interactive visual environment 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact several projects in my group use this apparatus; 19909802 
 
Title Cochlear implant direct stimulation library and tests 
Description Software suite for testing cochlear implant patients using the direct stimulation approach. Mulitple tests developed. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact New research strand started with it 
 
Title Integration of electrial and acoustic information 
Description Developed new methodologies for quantifying the degree to which individuals who have one normal hearing ear can integrate acoustic information from that ear with electrical information from a cochlear implant in their other ear. Methods reported in Ma, Morris, & Kitterick (2016) and highlighted by the journal's editorial team (Editorial: Binaural Hearing with Cochlear Implants for Bilateral, Bimodal, and Single-Sided Deafness Patients, Ear & Hearing, Volume 37 Issue 3). 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact N/a 
URL https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27116049
 
Description ARCHES 
Organisation Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg
Department Medical Physics Group Oldenburg
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution ARCHES is a network of European Centres in Audiology Research to promote greater mutual visibility, to further joint research and to exchange students and young researchers. We have organised one network meeting in Nottingham in 2009 which was attended by 35 researchers from abroad.
Collaborator Contribution Scientific discussions, exchange of results for further modelling, grant proposal to EU
Impact Five network meetings, three of which were done in conference style with talks and poster presentations, and two meetings were held alongside conferences, resulting in strongly increased awareness of research of other network partners. Several collaborations between centres spun out of those meetings.
Start Year 2007
 
Description Advanced Bionics Inc. 
Organisation Advanced Bionics Inc. (AB)
Country Global 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Design, conductance, analysis and dissemination of research
Impact Publication 19322086
Start Year 2007
 
Description Auditory Perception Lab 
Organisation University of California, Berkeley
Department Auditory Perception Lab
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Design, conductance, analysis and dissemination of research, collaboration on anechoic chamber setup
Collaborator Contribution Design and dissemination of research
Impact Publication 19909802
 
Description Cochlear Corp. 
Organisation Cochlear Ltd.
Country Global 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Design, conductance, analysis and dissemination of research
Impact Developed a set of new spatial hearing tests
Start Year 2008
 
Description NBRUH 
Organisation National Institute for Health Research
Department National Biomedical Research Unit in Hearing
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Contributed to successful grant proposal for continuation funding for NBRUH. Recruited senior post-doc for position. Together with partners designed a clinical study and received ethics approval.
Collaborator Contribution Centre grant of which proposal for cochlear implant strand was dominantly written by me. Design of clinical study and ethics protocols led by me and done in collaboration with team.
Impact Grant obtained, study designed, ethics obtained.
Start Year 2011
 
Description Single-sided Deafness 
Organisation Phonak
Country Switzerland 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Adam Pedley (IHR) and Padraig Kitterick (visiting scientist, NHBRU) formed a collaboration with Phonak UK to access the latest technology developed to aid individuals with single-sided deafness. This included access to new models of Contra-lateral Routing of Signals (CROS) hearing aids and technical support to programme the devices. Work arising from this collaboration has examined what effect the use of CROS devices have on the underlying mechanisms of sound lateralisation and localisation. A manuscript reporting the results of this work has been submitted to the journal Hearing Research and is currently in revision.
Collaborator Contribution Adam Pedley (IHR) and Padraig Kitterick (visiting scientist, NHBRU) formed a collaboration with Phonak UK to access the latest technology developed to aid individuals with single-sided deafness. This included access to new models of Contra-lateral Routing of Signals (CROS) hearing aids and technical support to programme the devices. Work arising from this collaboration has examined what effect the use of CROS devices have on the underlying mechanisms of sound lateralisation and localisation. A manuscript reporting the results of this work has been submitted to the journal Hearing Research and is currently in revision.
Impact A manuscript reporting the results of this work has been submitted to the journal Hearing Research and is currently in revision.
Start Year 2015
 
Title SSD 
Description Clinical trial of the efficacy and cost efficiency for using cochlear implants in patients with single sided deafness. 
Type Management of Diseases and Conditions
Current Stage Of Development Late clinical evaluation
Year Development Stage Completed 2013
Development Status Under active development/distribution
Clinical Trial? Yes
Impact clinical trial has started, evaluation ongoing 
URL http://public.ukcrn.org.uk/Search/StudyDetail.aspx?StudyID=14261
 
Description BCIG conference 22.05.2010 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Health professionals
Results and Impact Presentation at BCIG conference to health professionals, policy makers, company representatives

many discussions, collaborations with clinics fostered
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description BERG meeting 11.03.2010 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Health professionals
Results and Impact Presentation to health professionals, company representatives and researchers

Interactions and collaborations
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description Big Bang Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We developed new material and extended our stand for science fairs. We then manned the stand for 3 days at the Big Bang festival in Birmingham. The stand reached several hundered children and adults.

Report in BBC TV evening news
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Brit. Assoc. Pediatric Audiologists 28.01.2011 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Health professionals
Results and Impact Gave joint talk with Dr Sue Archbold of the Ear Foundation, a charity about cochlear implants. Also was member of a discussion panel.

Increased awareness of our research for translation of research into praxis.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description British Association of Audiology 10.11.2011 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Health professionals
Results and Impact Gave talk and contributed in interactive discussion session with health professionals.

Increased visibility of our research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description British Science Festival Bradford 14-15.09.2011 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Organised development of a new stand for public engagement for IHR under the title "From Ear to Brain". The stand is composed of a backdrop and two side panels developed in close interaction with the MRC Communications Team. Further, IHR developed multiple audio demonstrations and a computer game about hearing and a DIY-hearing aid. Students and staff of IHR were present at the science festival for two complete days, resulting in hundreds of interactions with pupils, teachers, and other members of the public.

Highly positive feedback from participants, many of whom judged IHR's stand to be one of the most interesting.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Ear Foundation bilateral days 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Health professionals
Results and Impact Presentations at two information days about bilateral cochlear implants for speech language therapists and other health professionals

New recruitment scheme for patients via charity
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
 
Description Eriksholm Company Research Centre 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Health professionals
Results and Impact Talk at Eriksholm Research Centre of Hearing aid manufacturer

Discussions
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description Institute of Acoustics Lab visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Talk and lab presentation of visit of member of the Institute of Acoustics

Discussions and positive feedback
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description Presentation CI Outcomes Meeting 06.12.2010 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Health professionals
Results and Impact Presentation to clinicians, company representatives and researchers about our research outcomes

n/a
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description Presentation CI workshop, 05.05.2010 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Health professionals
Results and Impact Presentation of research to other researchers and health professionals

lots of interest and many discussions, potential collaborations
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description Presentation Ear Foundation 23.03.2010 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Health professionals
Results and Impact Presentation about Binaural Hearing at Ear Foundation Charity

Very positive feedback and, generally, help with our nationwide studies
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description Presentation Ear Foundation 29.09.2010 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Health professionals
Results and Impact Presentation on benefits of bilateral implantation sparked lots of discussion

Awareness of our work amongst health professionals
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description Presentation Wullstein Symposium 10.12.2010 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Health professionals
Results and Impact Presentation of research outcomes to clinicians, researchers and other health professionals

n/a
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description Presentation at Ear Foundation meeting 25.11.2011 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Presentation at the "State of the Art meeting" organised by the Ear Foundation, a charity for cochlear implantation primarily in children.

Talk to parents, health professionals and the interested public sparked interest and discussion about our results and the benefits of having two cochlear implants.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Press conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Panel member of press conference which was attended by several reporter from multiple news agencies. Several questions answered to, radio interview resulted from it.

Newsstories in several newspapers
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description Press releases following Cremer award, mentioning in MRC Newsletter 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Press releases following receipt of Cremer award, mentioned in MRC Newsletter

Noted to me by several people
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description Radio Interview 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Worldwide (longwave) transmitted radio interview in German public radio.

Several listener responses and interactions afterwards
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description Radio Presentation BBC World Services 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact The interview/presentation was aired on BBC world services.

Enhanced visibility, contribution to public understanding of science.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011,2012
 
Description Student visits at IHR 14+21.10.2011 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Open day for first-year students of Neuroscience at the University of Nottingham. Demonstrated research facilities and gave introduction to binaural hearing mechanisms.

Interest in our research and publicity for IHR
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Teachers of the Deaf education 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact plenary talk at meeting reaching ca. 80 teachers.

Raised awareness about the impact of reverberation on hearing with cochlear imlpants.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description www.acoustics.bseeber.de web page 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Maintenance and extension of web page on research, spatial hearing, cochlear implants etc.

The pages receive ca. 40,000 hits a year
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2006,2007,2008,2009