Med-El’s BoneBridge implant provides the sensation of sound to hearing-impaired persons. The device’s transducer is surgically implanted in the skull. Key surgical problems are to find a location on the individual patient’s skull that is thick enough to house the transducer and to place and configure the transducer to maximize sound energy transfer to the cochlea, the organ of hearing. This project will (1) develop software for patient-specific, image-based BoneBridge placement planning and (2) investigate how BoneBridge placement and configuration affect energy transfer.
This proposal aims to investigate vocal production by users of Med-El cochlear implants (CI), in response to feedback alteration of their voice pitch. The originality of this proposal is to shift the usual focus of CI research from perception to production. We feel that the history of Med-El research on pitch coding would strongly benefit from this novel perspective because the characteristics that make voice pitch more audible may not necessarily be the same characteristics that are relevant to the speech motor planning areas of the brain.