The World Health Organisation estimates over 5% of the world’s population have disabling hearing loss. Electrical inner ear prostheses (cochlear implants, CIs) have become the standard of care for those who lose their hearing, enabling them to regain a large part of their communication abilities and to continue participating in and contributing to society. CIs also greatly ease the development of spoken language for deaf children, removing barriers that could otherwise seriously limit their education, employment and ability to fully integrate into society. Several CI limitations are largely attributable to their very limited delivery of temporal fine structure (TFS) information.
TEMPORAL combines computational modelling, state-of-the-art Machine Learning techniques and patient testing, to develop a new speech coding strategy which allows for better neural encoding of TFS. This will lead to improved perception of music and tonal languages, improve speech understanding in (fluctuating) noise and enhance directional hearing, with either two CIs or a CI and a contralateral hearing aid (bimodal hearing).
TEMPORAL is made possible with support from Top Sector Life Sciences and Health (LSH) and Advanced Bionics in partnership with Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) and the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS).