2. Individual anatomic factors in underperforming patients
Beneficiary: HörSys, Germany
We plan to combine technological factors (i.e. the dimensions and exact placement of the cochlear implant, its stimulation parameters, …) and biological factors (i.e. inter-individual variation of cochlear size and shape) and then analyse both regarding hearing outcomes and language perception in children with cochlear implants. We will use a battery of auditory and cognitive tests to pinpoint functional outcomes and will additionally combine modern cochlear imaging (digital volume tomography, cone-beam CT) with computational approaches to automatically localise the implant in the cochlea. Finally, using EEG (auditory novelty paradigms) on selected individuals, we will objectively assess higher-level auditory processing and relate it to visual reorganisation, possibly yielding a multi-modal plasticity relation in the human brain. We assume that there will be a negative relation between anatomic/geometric factors and the extend of multi-modal reorganisation:
decreasing the quality of the sensory input will increase the reliance on visual inputs. Evidence for such a relation in children with cochlear implants has not yet been provided and would support the need of individualised cochlear implants and the need of cochlear imaging before implantation.