Predicting how cochlear implant recipients will hear speech



Researchers from the University of Sydney, Australia and Cochlear Limited have teamed up to carry out a study that could lead to more accurate predictions of how people receiving cochlear implants will understand speech.

The group of researchers found a correlation between a computer model and speech intelligibility in implant recipients, reports the University of Sydney News & Opinion page. This could mean that improvements in the performance of the model could improve speech understanding in individuals with cochlear implants in new ways.

“Computerized speech intelligibility models are powerful tools that allow us to evaluate how a hearing impairment may affect a cochlear implant recipient’s ability to understand speech in background noise,” PhD candidate Greg Watkins from the University’s School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering told the news team. The study compared the accuracy of four different models of a recipient’s likelihood of understanding speech. A new model, known as the output signal-to-noise ratio or OSNR was better in predicting improvements or decline in sentence recognition of actual cochlear implant recipients.

Further research is needed, but the researchers hope that the findings could ultimately allow for tailored cochlear implants responding to the specific characteristics of the hearing loss in each individual who receives the device.

Source: MedicalXpress; University of Sydney