KC Lee on Understanding User's Auditory Intent

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Seminar Room
Event Type: 
Hearing Seminar
Title: Towards incorporating user’s intent in hearing aid design – a combined neuroscience and engineering approach

Abstract Current hearing aids users find minimal benefit in their device when they are conversing in a crowded environment because all sounds are amplified irrespective of the user’s focus of attention. We are currently working toward the creation of a next-generation hearing aid that will selectively amplify a signal of interest based on the user’s intent. This requires a fundamental paradigm shift in instrumentation design, moving away from feed-forward amplification to systems that incorporate brain signals as feedback mechanisms. To accomplish this, we need to first understand the cortical network recruited for auditory attention. From a device perspective, our challenges lie in interpreting brain wave patterns in real-time to dynamically follow the user’s attentional focus. In this talk, I will describe the neuroscience and the engineering effort that we are pursuing to make this next-generation hearing aid vision a reality.

Adrian KC Lee obtained his bachelor degree in electrical engineering at the University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia) and his doctoral degree at the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. He began his neuroimaging training at the Massachusetts General Hospital (Departments of Psychiatry and Radiology), studying executive control on the oculomotor system before moving back to auditory neuroscience. He is now Assistant Professor in Speech & Hearing Sciences and at the Institute of Learning & Brain Sciences at the University of Washington.

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