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The University of Southampton

Biomedical Signal Processing

Engineering has an increasing role in modern medicine and healthcare and across the University, many collaborations are advancing the field of biomedical engineering. Physiological signals such as the electrocardiogram (ECG) or blood pressure traces originating in the heart, or the electroencephalogram (EEG) or blood flow measurements from the brain, provide powerful insight into the function and sometimes dysfunction of the human body. A multitude of imaging methods can also show structure and function in health and disease. In the ISVR we carry out research and teaching on the generation, acquisition, processing and analysis of a range of biomedical signal and imaging modalities.

Current particular interests are in the measurement of hearing function using the EEG (Evoked Potentials), where novel algorithms can allow more sensitive and faster detection of the brain's responses to sound. In collaboration with the clinical audiologists in ISVR we are also moving beyond the traditional stimuli of clicks and tone pips to investigating responses to speech sounds, that are more relevant to real-world challenges of hearing-impaired listeners.  Another field of research is in the brain's control of its own blood flow, where the relationship between blood flow and blood pressure, breathing or mental activity can be used to detect impairment. Stroke, brain (subarachnoid) haemorrhage and dementia are all clinical conditions where impaired blood flow control has been implicated and where we are collaborating with the University Hospital and beyond.

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