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Synchronising cochlear signals stimulates brain to 'hear' in stereo
May 2018 Science News
Researchers are working to synchronise cochlear implant signals to provide a more realistic hearing experience for deaf adults and children. Using both ears to hear increases speech recognition and improves sound localisation. In essence, it helps you to identify a friend's voice so you can follow her amusing anecdote over the din of a cocktail party. Ruth Litovsky, a researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, wants to bring this advantage to people who use cochlear implants. "Twenty years ago, [the medical community] decided to give [deaf] people two implants, one in each ear, to see if it would improve their ability to hear better in noisy environments, so that children could integrate into classrooms and adults into the workplace more easily," Litovsky said. "I believe bilateral implantation has had a significant, positive impact on their quality of life, but they still struggle with noisy environments."