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Prof Carl Verschuur BA, MSc, PhD, RCS (Registered Clinical Scientist)

Professorial Fellow (Enterprise), Director of University of Southampton Auditory Implant Service

Prof Carl Verschuur's photo

Carl Verschuur is Director of the University of Southampton Auditory Implant Service (USAIS), an enterprise unit within Engineering and Physical Sciences. USAIS provides specialised clinical services to people from around the South of England who need a cochlear implant, other types of surgical hearing prostheses, or specialist services in Auditory Processing Disorder and other specialised forms of hearing assessment.

My research and clinical management work are aimed at maximising individual’s ability to conserve and use whatever hearing they have.

Visit http://ais.southampton.ac.uk/  for more details of the service. Prior to his current position, he has held clinical scientist, clinical management and academic roles in the area of audiology in Southampton and Liverpool and was most recently Programmes Director for Audiology programmes in the University of Southampton. He initially graduated with a first class honours degree in Linguistics from University College London in 1989, from which he developed a career-long interest in acoustic and clinical phonetics. He graduated with an MSc in Audiology in 1992 and a PhD in 2007, both from the University of Southampton.

Research interests

Hearing loss is a widespread problem. The most common form of hearing problem is age-related hearing loss, which affects more than 1 in 3 people over 65. The most disabling form of hearing loss is profound hearing loss, which affects a much smaller proportion of people but has even more devastating consequences.

There is increasing interest in ensuring that, for individuals with profound hearing loss who have some residual hearing, such hearing can be preserved after cochlear implant surgery. Carl’s research aims to optimise outcomes for both groups of people and to find new ways to preserve hearing in both cases. He is particularly interested in the role inflammation plays in driving hearing loss, and how its management can be used to reduce or slow down the development of hearing loss. His research work also focuses on the use of other physiological measures to predict and optimise user hearing performance. Consequently, his research covers:

  • How chronic inflammation contributes to age-related hearing loss, both at a population level and in terms of basic biological mechanisms, and how this knowledge can be used to slow the acceleration of age-related hearing loss.
  • How inflammation contributes to loss of residual hearing for profoundly deaf people undergoing cochlear implant surgery (in cases where performance will be compromised if the natural “acoustic hearing” of these implant recipients is lost during the surgical process).
  • How the setting of cochlear implants and other hearing devices can be optimised by using individualised measures of biological function and hearing performance, including use of imaging and measures of specific hearing abilities.
  • Which acoustic speech cues should be optimised for cochlear implant recipients, both via their own residual acoustic hearing (for those that retain some) and through the cochlear implant itself.

PhD supervision

  • Akosua Ageymang-Prempeh
  • Alan Sanderson
  • Suzanne O’Gara
  • Giorgos Dritsakis
  • Sharmila Patel
  • Mary Grasmeder
The inner ear
The inner ear
Receiving a cochlear implant
Receiving a cochlear implant

Research group

Human Sciences Group

Affiliate research group

Hearing and Balance Centre

Research project(s)

Biological basis of hearing preservation

Electro-haptic hearing: Using tactile stimulation to improve cochlear implant listening

Effect of inflammatory proteins on age-related hearing loss

Chronic inflammation is common in older adults, and can lead to a number of diseases. We aim to determine the role of inflammation in the development and acceleration of age-related hearing loss, and also to investigate its role in affecting auditory performance outcomes in cochlear implant users.

Enhancement of speech landmarks for cochlear implants

The focus of this work is on which acoustic cues in the speech signal are most important for speech perception in difficult listening situations, particularly when listening in noisy backgrounds and for hearing-impaired listeners.

Exploring the experiences of adolescents with cochlear implants

Processing and perception of low frequency speech cues for hearing impairment

The aim of the project is to determine how coding of low frequency speech cues, particularly fundamental frequency (F0), first formant (F1) and nasality information can be optimised for hearing-impaired listeners, particularly those with a cochlear implant or a cochlear implant combined with a hearing aid for amplification of low frequencies.

Temporal information in cochlear implants

The broad aim of the present project is (i) to understand the effect of cochlear implant processing, in particular the filter bank analysis methods used, on temporal information in CI devices; (ii) the link between (i) and temporal resolution in cochlear implant users; (iii) to determine the impact of the previous factors on speech perception in CI users, including perception of different types of acoustic speech cue in quiet and noise.

In his role as Director, Carl combines an academic focus in research, research supervision and education with a clinical and clinical management role. He is particularly focused on developing the USAIS clinical service through the translation of up-to-date research evidence for positive clinical impact and benefit, and also in commissioning, supporting and undertaking translational and basic research which have the potential to improve the lives of those with (especially severe to profound) hearing loss, and in developing new enterprise activities in this area. He is also contributes to national and international initiatives to improve access to cochlear implantation.

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Articles

Conferences

Letter/Editorial

LING 2008: Sound and Voice (lecturer)

Biomedical Implant and Devices (guest lecturer)

Supervises BSc, MSc and PhD students

Prof Carl Verschuur
Engineering, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton. SO17 1BJ United Kingdom

Room Number: 19/1015

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