How the brain combines electric and acoustic stimulation
Cochlear implants were originally used only in people with profound deafness, but are now being used in patients who have some residual hearing at low frequencies. These patients have access to information from both acoustic hearing (via their remaining low-frequency hearing, usually in both ears) and electric hearing (via their cochlear implant, usually located in the ear with the worst hearing). Such patients are said to have electro-acoustic hearing.
Very little is known about how these two inputs – electric and acoustic – are represented and integrated in the auditory system.
Our goal is to understand how the electrical information from the cochlear implant and the acoustic information provided by the residual hearing are combined in the brain to produce a unified perception of the auditory environment.
Program leader: A/Prof James Fallon