Imperial College London


Teenagers using bilateral cochlear implants are not fulfilling their potential due to problems with poor sound localisation and associated speech-in-noise perception. These deficits negatively affect speech and language development, education, and social well-being. Recent evidence suggests that spatial hearing abilities develop over time with bilateral experience, and a large body of research shows that sound localisation can improve with training, underpinned by plastic changes in the auditory pathways in children and adults. The lack of protocols for fitting bilateral cochlear implants, of ecologically valid tests and of training methods to improve spatial skills may contribute to this problem. A package of Virtual Reality (VR) games (BEARS, Both EARS) is been developed to train teenagers with bilateral cochlear implants in sound localisation and spatial listening skills, and will be evaluated in this programme of work.

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