Signal Coding for Binaural Signal Processing in Cochlear Implants
The cochlear implant is the most successful man-made interface to the human neural system to date. It allows to restore a sense of hearing in people suffering from profound hearing loss by direct stimulation of the auditory nerves. While current technology allows a good understanding of speech in quiet environments, speech perception deteriorates quickly in noisy backgrounds. One technique to improve the performance in these circumstances is to use binaural sound coding strategies, i.e. combining information from the left and the right ear to improve speech perception. At the TNT, a novel coding scheme for cochlear implants is developed for use in binaural sound coding strategies. This potentially allows to save battery power in comparison to conventional methods.
The aim is to code the signals in just the quality and latency needed for the useage in binaural sound coding strategies for cochlear implants.
The approach is to design a codec that uses specifics of the processing strategy of the cochlear implants and psychoacoustics to reduce bit-rate and potentially battery power in the communication necessary for binaural sound coding strategies while keeping the latency as low as possible. By taking into account details of the design of the cochlear implant, a more efficient coding scheme can be created.