The Wellcome Trust has just awarded a major grant to MRC CBU Deputy Director Bob Carlyon, in collaboration with Professors John Middlebrooks and Jan Wouters, colleagues from the Universities of California and Leuven, respectively.
The aim is to understand and overcome some of the limitations on hearing by deaf people who have been surgically fitted with a cochlear implant (CI). Many such patients understand speech well in quiet, but struggle in noisy backgrounds and have difficulty in distinguishing the pitches of different sounds.
Bob explains that new developments are usually tested either with human patients, where it is difficult to know the neural basis of any improvements, or in animals, where the neural basis is known but the perceptual benefits are hard to determine.
He and his colleagues will combine both approaches so as to understand the neural basis for the success and failure of novel treatments, whilst measuring their effectiveness at improving pitch and speech perception by cochlear implant users.
For more information please contact Bob Carlyon