The House Center for Auditory Prosthesis is focused on the innovation of hearing devices including hearing aids, cochlear implants, auditory brainstem implants, and new devices.
About Auditory Prostheses
Over 430 million people worldwide suffer from debilitating hearing loss. For people with mild to moderate hearing loss, hearing aids can amplify the acoustic signal into the audible range. For people with severe-to-profound hearing loss, cochlear implants can restore hearing by electrically stimulating the surviving auditory nerves in the cochlea. For people who cannot benefit from hearing aids or cochlear implants, an auditory brainstem implant can restore hearing by stimulating higher levels of the auditory system (e.g., the cochlear nucleus and auditory brainstem).
Each of these devices provides different amounts of sound information and sound quality. Hearing aids transmit low-to-mid frequency sounds well, but not high frequency sounds. Cochlear implants can transmit most frequencies, but the sound quality is much poorer than with acoustic hearing.
Increasing numbers of cochlear implant patients have usable acoustic hearing in the implanted or non-implanted ear. Combining acoustic hearing with a cochlear implant often improves sound perception, but much work remains to optimize cochlear implants to work well with acoustic hearing. Much of our research is aimed at improving perception with combined acoustic and electric hearing. Hearing aid signal processing may also need to be optimized to work with cochlear implants. The optimization of cochlear implant and hearing aid signal processing for combined acoustic and electric hearing may also benefit patients who only use a cochlear implant or a hearing aid.