With a cochlear implant a deaf adult or child can hear sounds and even have a normal conversation. A cochlear implant stimulates the auditory nerve directly by generating electrical pulses on an array of electrodes inserted in the cochlea during surgery.
The main research topics at ExpORL, Dept. Neurosciences are :
Speech and music processing for cochlear implants
Noise reduction for improved speech reception with hearing instruments in adverse and noisy listening environments
Binaural hearing : signal processing schemes and evaluation procedures for bilateral acoustical and / or electrical hearing instruments
New electrical stimulation for optimal neural excitation in cochlear implants
Temporal neural processing in the auditory system
New auditory measurement methods based on auditory brain evoked potentials for improved diagnostics and hearing instruments In these studies we focus on the chain of auditory modelling, signal processing, simulation, psychophysical tests, electro-
physiological measurements, imaging, lab-implementation, and evaluation with normal hearing subjects and users of hearing aids and cochlear implants.
Intensive research has led to fundamental knowledge about hearing with hearing instruments. Based on these studies, new signal processing strategies have been developed that are now used worldwide in the most recent cochlear implant systems and hearing aids.
Furthermore, diagnostic and evaluation strategies have been developed that are clinically applied.
A degree in electrical or biomedical engineering, physics, or similar
A background in signal processing
An interest in auditory perception
An inquisitive and creative mind, good problem solving skills
Very good English proficiency
Dutch speaker (preferably), or willing to quickly learn Dutch
Knowledge of human neurophysiology and psychology of hearing is a benefit
This Ph.D. project aims to improve hearing of people who use a cochlear implant, either by itself, or together with a hearing aid in the non-implanted ear.
The work will include
Development of signal processing to convert sound into electrical stimulation
Hands-on measurement of signals and building of test setups
Evaluation of new signal processing with cochlear implant recipients
Typical day-to-day tasks include developing signal processing (Matlab, ...), designing test protocols, conducting tests with cochlear implant recipients, and reading and writing scientific publications.