Electro-tactile hearing: Using tactile stimulation to improve music perception in cochlear implant users

Scott Aker

Cochlear implants have changed the lives of many hearing-impaired listeners by bypassing large portions of the auditory system and stimulating the auditory nerve with electrical signals directly. However, while cochlear implants are effective for aiding speech understanding, many finer nuances of sound such as pitch and timbre are lost to the detriment of music perception and enjoyment. Recently, perceptual and neurological links between the auditory system and haptic system have been found, including a vibrotactile device which has been shown to improve speech understanding by supplementing the signal with mechanical vibration on the skin. This Industrial PhD project, a collaboration between DTU and Oticon Medical, investigates the feasibility and methods of supplementing music perception in cochlear implant users with tactile vibrations and other physical sensations. The project is part of a larger collaboration with the University of Southampton and the University of Iceland.

Supervisors: Jeremy Marozeau (DTU Health Tech), Kathleen Scalzo (Oticon Medical), Hamish Innes-Brown (Eriksholm)
This project is supported by Oticon Medical

To Be Completed in 2022

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Scott Charles Aker
Industrial PhD
DTU Health Tech