FEIT Research Project Database

Central representation of electroacoustic stimuli: modelling hearing with electrical and acoustic hearing

Project Leader: David Grayden
Collaborators: James Fallon (Medical Bionics), Dexter Irvine (Bionics Institute)
Sponsors: Australian Research Council
Primary Contact: David Grayden (grayden@unimelb.edu.au)
Keywords: auditory processing; biomedical engineering; bionic ear; cochlear implant; computational neuroscience
Disciplines: Biomedical Engineering
Research Centre: Neuroengineering Research Laboratory

Cochlear implantation, initially only provided to profoundly deaf individuals, is now routine in people with substantial residual hearing. Although stimulation via a cochlear implant and hearing aid in the same ear has been shown to improve speech understanding, particularly in noise, and to increase the aesthetic quality of sound, almost nothing is known about the physiological mechanisms underlying these benefits.

The broad aim of our project is to address this deficiency by measuring the patterns of neural activity evoked by speech sounds across the tonotopic axis in the inferior colliculus and auditory cortex and assess the extent to which the pattern of neural activity allows discrimination between the different speech sounds. Insights into the neural representations will be investigated using neural modelling and information transfer measurements.