Thirsa Huisman

PhD project by Thirsa Huisman

Name: Thirsa Huisman
Project Title: The influence of vision on spatial hearing of hearing-impaired and aided hearing-impaired listeners
Group: Computational models of auditory signal processing and perception
Supervisors: Ewen MacDonald (DTU), Tobias Piechowiak (GN ReSound), Torsten Dau (DTU)

Project Description:
To perceive the world around us, we continuously integrate cues from various senses. Optimal integration weighs the information from the senses relative to their reliability. In the case of spatial localization of audio-visual sources, where the visual system is much more accurate, this gives rise to the so-called ventriloquist effect. The effect is that the perceived location of sound is strongly biased towards the perceived visual location. Audio-visual integration and the ventriloquist effect have, as of yet, not been researched in hearing-impaired and aided hearing-impaired listeners. As these listeners have been shown to have degraded sound localization abilities compared to normal-hearing listeners, they might rely more on visual cues to localize sounds. Furthermore, whereas in normal-hearing listeners, integration breaks down with increased spatial separation of the audio and visual cues, in hearing-impaired and aided hearing-impaired listeners audio-visual integration might occur over a longer audio-visual disparity.

Many hearing-aid algorithms degrade acoustic spatial cues as a side effect of improving speech intelligibility. Knowing how vision influences sound localization in hearing-impaired and aided hearing-impaired listeners will potentially allow manufacturers and clinicians to better balance the trade-offs of different hearing-aid algorithms.


Torsten Dau
Sektionsleder, Professor
DTU Sundhedsteknologi
45 25 39 77