LMA - Laboratoire de Mécanique et d’Acoustique

Jeanne Clarke

Post-Doctorante, CNRS

Binaural Electric-Acoustic Fusion: Speech Perception under Dichotic Stimulation

A majority of hearing impaired people suffers from social isolation because they face difficulties understanding speech in noisy environment, for instance in a busy street or in a restaurant full of talkative people.

Some people with severe hearing loss can be fitted with a cochlear implant (CI), which allows restoring hearing to some extent. For example, speech transmitted through a CI is very degraded, but most CI users can understand speech well in quiet environments after an adaptation time. Besides, CI users with residual hearing show a benefit from wearing a hearing aid (HA) in addition to their implant, particularly in noisy backgrounds. However, the origin of this benefit is not fully understood yet. A CI device delivers electric information to the ear, whereas a HA amplifies the acoustic information coming to the ear.

The aim of this project is to investigate if and how the different (electric and acoustic) information from the two devices (CI and HA) is fused together, and if the fusion is actually contributing to better speech understanding. Such knowledge could give insight on how the HA should be fitted to provide additional benefits to CI users.