Ongoing research studies :
Implantation in single-sided deafness/tinnitus.
Benefits in speech perception in noise with signal processing features of the Naída CI Q90 sound processor.
French adaptation of the Pediatric AzBio sentence corpus.
Find out more information about our presentations/publications.
1- Implantation in single-sided deafness/tinnitus.
Anthony Lambert, Mathieu Côté, Richard Bussières, François Bergeron.
The objective of the study is to explore the benefits of cochlear implantation with respect to tinnitus, auditory performance, and quality of life in patients with single-sided deafness and tinnitus.
The recognized surgical indications for cochlear implantation are primarily severe-to-profound bilateral deafness. In adults, an improvement in auditory performance is clearly established. In children, implantation favours the development of speech, language and communication.
Given the functional benefits of binaural hearing, bilateral cochlear implantation is currently gaining in popularity. Studies show improvements in sound localization and speech perception, especially in the presence of competing noise.
Ipsilateral tinnitus presents a therapeutic challenge in people with single-sided deafness, making it difficult to use the usual masking techniques. Cochlear implantation could be a suitable alternative.
In keeping with the principles of tinnitus management and the development of bilateral implantation, this specific population could potentially benefit from an implant that offers them the benefits of binaural hearing while also lessening the intensity of their tinnitus.
2- Benefits in speech perception in noise with signal processing features of the Naída CI Q90 sound processor.
Bergeron, F., Lemolton, A., Agrawal, S.
The Naída CI Q90 sound processor from Advanced Bionics (AB) incorporates new sound processing algorithms based on the technology used in Phonak hearing aids, which were developed and adapted for use with cochlear implants. These algorithms include an adaptive acoustic beamforming system, called UltraZoom, designed to improve auditory performance in noise, in particular when the speaker is directly in front of the person with hearing loss. The Binaural VoiceStream Technology (BVST) streams data wirelessly between two Naída sound processors (bilateral implants) or between a Naída CI sound processor and a Naída hearing aid (bimodal device). Wireless transmission between ears forms a third-order acoustic beam through the use of four microphones (two in each ear). This additional directional beamformer (called StereoZoom) should further improve speech comprehension in noisy environments. The BVST also delivers the signal received in one ear to the contralateral ear, allowing for better hearing when using the phone (DuoPhone feature) or in situations where the signal desired may not be in front of the listener (for example, when driving a car; ZoomControl feature). The BVST allows people with a single implant to use a CROS wireless hearing aid in the non-implanted ear to transmit sounds from this ear to the Naída CI Q70/90 sound processor on the implanted side.
These characteristics are designed to further improve the auditory benefits of cochlear implantation for people with severe hearing loss. According to the perspective of evidence-based practice, it is essential to document the auditory benefits related to the application of these characteristics. The data collected will help to confirm the efficacy of these new options for cochlear implant users, support clinical decisions related to the implementation of these characteristics, and help to establish guidelines for selecting the best options on an individual basis.
1- Assess the benefits of the Naída CI Q90 sound processor’s directional technology in a common but difficult listening situation in people with a unilateral implant.
2- Assess the additional gains provided by a CROS hearing aid for these people in the same daily environment.
3- French adaptation of the Pediatric AzBio sentence corpus.
The improvement of auditory perception is one of the main objectives of audiology interventions in the hearing-impaired population. Several tests are available to guide and assess the efficacy of these interventions. Ideally, these tests should measure the complex abilities used by hearing-impaired people on a daily basis.
The AzBio Sentence Test was developed to :
1- provide unbiased patient assessments based on representative sentences from daily life,
2- enable assessment across a wide variety of conditions,
3- create sentence lists with an equivalent level of difficulty to enable intra-individual comparison.
4- provide an estimate of performance consistent with the patient’s perceived performance in daily life (Spahr et al., 2012).
Since its introduction, the AzBio Sentence Test has been widely used by English-speaking cochlear implant teams, in particular, because of the high level of complexity of the material, including a high level of language, the use of several speakers, and masking noise consisting of multiple talkers, which prevents the ceiling effects often seen with other assessment tools. Work was recently done to develop and standardize an international French version for adults (Bergeron et al., 2016). The adaptation of the pediatric version of the original AzBio Sentence Test (Spahr et al., 2014) proposed by this project is a complement to this work.
The goal of this project is to continue adapting the AzBio Sentence Test to produce an international French version. This phase targets the pediatric version of the test.
The specific objectives are :
1- Create a corpus of French sentences.
2- Validate the corpus with French-speaking children in kindergarten and grade one.
3- Generate sentence lists from the validated corpus.
4- Verify the equivalence of the lists with hearing-impaired listeners.
This work is needed to provide researchers and clinicians with a reference tool for establishing the efficacy of technological/therapeutic interventions in deaf children. This practice is consistent with the contemporary evidence-based medicine approach whereby decision-making must be based on interventions that are proven effective.