Cochlear Implant Research Unit

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Alejandro Lopez Valdes, Saskia Waechter, Cathy Lau, Stephen Sechler,
Dr Cristina Simoes-Franklin, Prof. Laura Viani, Prof. Richard Reilly



Cochlear implants partially restore hearing in severe to profoundly deaf individuals by electrically stimulating the auditory nerve. Despite their widely accepted success, hearing restoration outcomes remain largely variable among implanted patients. It is important for audiologists to have an appropriate set of evaluation tools that can provide some evidence of the hearing rehabilitation progress.

Recently, electrophysiological correlates of hearing performance have been proposed as methods to guide the rehabilitation process for patients that cannot provide reliable responses to the gold standard behavioral testing. However, such electrophysiological correlates evaluate mainly the peripheral auditory pathways and are not suitable for higher order processes like speech perception.

Electroencephalography metrics, specifically long latency cortical auditory evoked potentials, have been proposed as correlates of speech perception, and are widely used in cochlear implant research. We have developed a method based on the application of single channel electroencephalography as an evaluation tool for speech perception in cochlear implant users in four studies.

We have demonstrated the feasibility of single channel electroencephalography in cochlear implant users and the development of an artifact attenuation methodology for clean acquisition of cortical auditory evoked potentials.

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