Researchers expect this finding to help manufacturers further develop smart hearing aids
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For the first time, researchers at the University of Leuven, Belgium have succeeded in measuring brain waves directly through ear implants. These brain waves indicate how good or bad a person’s hearing is.
“In our research, we have succeeded in using these implanted electrodes to record the brain waves that arise in response to sound. That is a first,” said Ben Somers, postdoctoral researcher from the experimental Oto-rhino-laryngology unit in a release. He is the first author of the paper published last month in Scientific Reports.
Researchers expect this finding to help manufacturers further develop smart hearing aids. It can measure larger brain responses than the traditional electrodes planted on the head.
An ear implant enables people with severe hearing loss to hear again. An audiologist adjusts the device based on the user’s input. However, children who are born deaf or elderly people with dementia have more difficulty assessing and communicating how well they hear the sounds, resulting in an implant that is not tuned to their situation.
Researchers believe that the new development can adjust the implant based on brain waves and help to get a measurement that does not depend on the user’s input. They also expect that audiologists can consult the data remotely and adjust the implant where necessary, without the user going through testing at the hospital.
They believe that in the future, the hearing implant can adjust itself autonomously based on the recorded brain waves.
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