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Cognitive Control of a Hearing Aid

Objective

We propose to design a hearing aid system that can be mentally (cognitively) steered so as to allow a more “natural communication” for the hearing disabled, a population that forms over 7% of Europeans (50 million people). Hearing disabilities lead to a degraded quality of life, exclusion, and associated costs for society. Hearing aids (and cochlear implants), while effective in quiet, are still unreliable in noisy reverberant environments typical of realistic everyday life situations. Based on recent success in decoding non-invasive cortical recordings (EEG, MEG), and our multidisciplinary team (of engineers, neurophysiologists, psychophysicists, and audiologists), we propose to develop and implement algorithms to decode brain signals picked up by EEG electrodes to extract intention signals, and to match them to acoustic sources within the environment. These in turn will steer an acoustic beam-former towards the targeted speaker or sound source. We propose to implement the design within a real hearing aid, and to evaluate the outcome with normal and hearing impaired subjects. The results of this project will benefit hearing aid and cochlear-implant industries (well represented in Europe), and the end users who are the elderly and hearing impaired. It will also lead to increased scientific understanding and knowledge of attention mechanisms, and how they might be harnessed to control sensory inputs. We hope the results of this project will be a forerunner for broader applications of cognitive brain imaging to decipher and exploit human intentions in prosthetic sensory systems, especially given the increased availability, miniaturization, and affordability of EEG recording setups in scientific research and medical diagnostics.

Call for proposal

H2020-ICT-2014-1
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

RIA - Research and Innovation action

Coordinator

ECOLE NORMALE SUPERIEURE
Address
45, Rue D'ulm
75230 Paris Cedex 05
France
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 991 250

Participants (4)

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 773 750
Address
Gower Street
WC1E 6BT London
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
UNIVERSITAT ZURICH
Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 0
Address
Ramistrasse 71
8006 Zurich
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
DANMARKS TEKNISKE UNIVERSITET
Denmark
EU contribution
€ 782 500
Address
Anker Engelundsvej 1 Bygning 101 A
2800 Kgs Lyngby
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
OTICON A/S
Denmark
EU contribution
€ 670 000
Address
Kongebakken 9
2765 Smorum
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)