Undergrad Research Project - Improving hearing aids by using EEG to observe auditory attention in normal listeners

Spring 2015

Aishwarya Renu
Pulkit Grover
Project description

When we are at the center of a lively discussion, where the speaker and the topic change continuously, Normal Hearing listeners thrive and are able to take part in the action because of ‘The Cocktail Party Effect’ that allows them to focus their auditory attention towards one particular source of their choice. However, Hearing Loss Listeners (HLL) on the other hand remain frustrated. Because of the reduced clarity of the sound that they hear and reduced auditory memory, it is difficult for HLL to follow the discussion even when they use the present day hearing aids.

Goal: To engineer better hearing aids in order to assist listeners with hearing loss improve their reduced auditory attention capabilities.

Method: Using EEG data (Machine present in the Professor Pulkit Grover’s Lab) to observe normal listeners' Primary Auditory Cortex and apply the information about the audio processing within the brain that makes it possible to tune into a particular signal and use that to improve hearing aids.

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