Dr. Donald K. Eddington will lead a new research initiative entitled, “Speech Processors for Auditory Prostheses.” This $2M project will involve a multi-institutional collaboration centered at the Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE). The researchers will conduct investigations to develop new sound processing strategies for auditory prostheses to advance toward the goal of providing deaf users better sound quality, sound-source localization, and speech reception than what is currently available from commercial systems.
The project is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Collaborating institutions include the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI), Boston University, and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
The overall efforts of this project fall into three integrated areas of concentration. First, Dr. Eddington’s team will develop flexible hardware and software solutions to advance laboratory-based technologies for cochlear implant evaluations. Second, the investigators will design new speech-processing algorithms to be implemented in real time and evaluated acutely using the team’s sound processing system. Finally, the researchers will conduct evoked potential measurements and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with a pool of subjects who exhibit a wide range of speech-reception ability with cochlear implants. The goal of this last area of concentration is to establish the degree to which peripheral and central auditory systems respond normally and to detect differences that might account for variations in performance.
Dr. Eddington directs the Cochlear Implant Research Laboratory at MEEI, was the director of RLE’s highly successful multi-institutional W. M. Keck Foundation Neural Prostheses Research Center, and is Associate Professor of Otology and Laryngology at Harvard Medical School.