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This research project aims to:
- Investigate the real-life benefits of preserved low-frequency acoustic hearing in children with cochlear implants
- Explore the effect of the degree of low-frequency hearing on real-life benefit from hearing preservation in children with cochlear implants
- Investigate why some children choose not to use acoustic amplification alongside their cochlear implants
Despite the recent advances in cochlear implant (CI) systems, the amount of speech information available for children with a cochlear implant compared to their normal-hearing peers or hearing-aid wearing peers is limited. These differences become particularly apparent in challenging situations, such as noisy environments when several speakers are present. Some features of speech that are essential for communication, such as stress, intonation and emphasis can be significantly impaired in paediatric CI users.
In addition, music perception is poor in this group, which can have consequences for development and social interaction. A combination of electrical hearing with preserved acoustic hearing has the potential to address these issues and enable children with a CI to more closely follow a normal course of auditory development. To date, the clinical evaluation of benefits following hearing preservation CI has focused on laboratory tests like pure-tone audiometry and speech perception, which fail to capture real-life benefits.
Understanding and being able to measure the real-life benefits of preserved acoustic hearing will have significant direct implications for children’s development and the activities of their daily lives.
The graduate researcher on this project is: Yuhan Wong
First published on 21 March 2023.
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