Task Group 5: Personalizing Hearing Devices

The goal of Task Group 5 is the individualized optimization of hearing devices to the needs of each patient, such that the patient receives the optimal hearing performance from a given hearing device. This includes selection of the device (hearing aid, CI, etc.) and individual optimization of the amplification or stimulation parameters.

To select the best suitable hearing device or implant for each individual subject, the patient performance prediction model from Research Area A will be used as the base, to which specific hearing device-related data (e.g., type of signal processing in the hearing device, device-specific algorithms in different acoustic environments) is added. Subsequently, an optimum fit to the individual is attained by iteratively altering the programming parameters until the actual patient performance matches the predicted performance within predefined limits. Eventually, a refined version of the aided performance prediction model can make individual suggestions concerning the optimal hearing device as well as the optimal fitting parameters for any given subject, thus providing an objective basis for the fitting process.

Besides optimizing speech understanding as the primary target, objective patient-specific measures will be used in the model to optimize the fitting of the device. Current implantable auditory prostheses already incorporate sensitive measuring circuits and telemetric functions, enabling the researcher to record neuronal action potentials and the current spread of the electric stimuli itself. In the case of acoustic hearing, EEG can be measured with the hearing device in place. Based on these measurements, the fitting of the devices can be adapted, i.e. electrodes with abnormal neuronal activity or electrodes that cause large current spread can be omitted. Beyond this, the long-term goal is to predict “ideal” neuronal activity patterns for any given acoustic stimulus at different processing stages along the auditory pathway. Electrical and/or acoustic stimuli applied through the hearing device should then result in a neuronal response in each individual patient close to the predicted “ideal” activity.

Task Group Leader

Prof. Dr. Andreas Büchner

Hannover/MHH: ORL/Auditory Implants Contact
Deutsches HörZentrum Hannover
Karl-Wiechert-Allee 3
30625 Hannover
+49 (0)511 532-6603 (Sekretariat)

Prof. Dr. Esther Ruigendijk

Oldenburg/UOL: Psycholinguistics Contact
Fk. III - Sprach- und Kulturwissenschaften
Institut für Niederlandistik
D-26111 Oldenburg
+49 (0)441 798-4695
+49 (0)441 798-2045