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Auditory Perception and Modeling Lab

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Cochlear Implant Laboratory

Cochlear implants (CIs) can restore speech understanding to the profoundly hearing impaired. They can work quite well for some users in quiet situations. However, noisy situations can be very demanding. The use of two CIs can help to reduce the detrimental effects of noise as compared to one CI. Still the benefits are not as great as those who have typical hearing.


Research Questions

In an effort to better understand CI listening the lab's current research is concentrated on :

  • Determing the limitations of unilateral and bilateral CIs compared to typical hearing and
  • Improving speech understanding in noise and sound localization through new processing stratgies.

Our current research quesions can be divided into three categories:

  • For unilateral implantees:
    • How do people with cochlear implants perceive language and speech?
    • What speech information is necessary to present to CI users to fully understand speech?
    • How does speech understanding change as a CI user ages?
    • What basic auditory processing is lost when using an implant, and can it be res
  • For bilateral implantees:
    • How can we improve speech understanding in noise?
    • How can we improve sound localization?
  • CI simulations:
    • How do we simulate listening through an implant for those with typical hearing?

If you are a unilateral implantees and live in the DC metro area or bilateral implateed living in the United States and would like to participate in our research or have questions, please contact us via email or phone (301-405-8552).

If you are participating in a study, make sure you recieve an information packet for directions to the lab; those of you who will be staying in the area will be recieving an extra packet with travel information. There are many places to eat and visit in the DC metro area. Several of these are mentioned in the travel packet provided. Here is a link to a list of things to see/do in DC.


The Lab

The lab, designed and constructed by Ray Cho and the FM-Campus project department, has just been completed. The picture on the left is what the lab currently looks likes. The picture on the right represents what the lab will look like after construction. Each photograph is linked to a PDF of more photos of the lab either before, after, or as designed by the architects.

Lab now

Lab pre-construction

Artist rendering of the lab post-construction

Funding for the lab is provided by: NIH NIDCD K99/R00 (National Institute of Health Pathway to Independence) DC010206. Title: Speech understanding and signal detection in noise in bilateral cochlear implants Dates: 08/11/2009 – 07/31/2015.