In a new international collaborative study between The Chinese University of Hong Kong and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, researchers created a machine learning algorithm that uses brain scans to predict language ability in deaf children after they receive a cochlear implant. This study's novel use of artificial intelligence to understand brain structure underlying language development has broad reaching implications for children with developmental challenges. It was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
Deaf people could get'almost perfect' quality hearing from a cochlear implant which deconstructs sounds as it hears them. Researchers are developing a device which they say could significantly improve the quality of what people hear through the hearing aids. In the UK around 1,200 people have cochlear implants – which essentially connect a microphone directly to the brain to recreate hearing – fitted each year. But the current technology'sounds metallic' and needs a'significant' amount of brain training to use, according to scientists who claim their device will be better. Researchers at the University of Greenwich say they're developing a device which, instead of directly magnifying outside noises, rebuilds it to pick out key parts.
Scientists have developed a new type of cochlear implant that allows deaf gerbils to hear light. The breakthrough technique aims to activate key neurons that have been manipulated to respond to light. In the experiments, researchers showed the implanted gerbils were successfully stimulated by a blue light, which prompted them to jump over an obstacle like they had when previously trained to do so in response to an alarm. In the new study, the team equipped adult gerbils with a light-sensitive protein by injecting a virus known to carry the gene into their cochlea. According to the team from University Medical Center Gottingen, Germany, this could eventually pave the way for light-based implants in humans, too.
Apple does pretty well when it comes to accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. The tech giant offers more than 50 models of hearing devices that, when linked to an iPhone, introduce a host of useful settings not available to the basic iPhone user. But not everyone in the Deaf community uses a hearing aid. Many people rely on cochlear, or inner ear implants, which directly stimulate the hearing nerve and use an external sound processor to help people hear. Cochlear implants and hearing aids are both essential to many in the Deaf community.