Dr Mark Fletcher is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research and University of Southampton Auditory Implant Service. He leads the EHS Lab, which focuses on improving hearing in hearing-impaired people by presenting missing sound-information through vibration on the skin. Mark also leads a related project involving the development of a virtual acoustics system for use in clinical and research facilities and for remote training and testing.
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- Cochlear implants
- Virtual acoustics
- Tactile stimulation
- Hearing loss
Mark currently leads a range of projects, exploring whether vibration (haptic stimulation), can be used to enhance speech, music perception, and spatial hearing for hearing-impaired listeners (including hearing aid and cochlear implant users). This includes both work exploring the limits of the human tactile and auditory systems, work with clinical populations, and the development of new haptic and auditory assistive technologies (both physical engineering and developing new digital signal-processing approaches, using techniques such as machine learning/artificial intelligence). In addition to this work, Mark leads projects exploring whether haptic devices can be used to enhance balance perception and gunshot localisation, as well as a project focused on realistic sound reproduction using virtual acoustics (e.g., cross-talk cancellation) and enhancing gaming and virtual reality.
Are some people suffering as a result of increasing mass exposure of the public to ultrasound in air?
A compact and inexpensive virtual acoustics system for clinical and research evaluation of spatial hearing in cochlear implant and hearing aid users
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Mark teaches on the Fundamentals of Auditory Implants module, and has supervised a range of research projects with audiology BSC and MSc students on topics such as using haptic stimulation to enhance hearing, auditory training, and high-frequency hearing. He also supervises PhD students on projects involving haptic enhancement of hearing, haptic technology development, digital signal processing, and neural imaging (EEG).
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In addition to his current work, Mark co-created the RealSpeech auditory training app, which focuses on the recreation of highly realistic listening environments and was part of a UK-wide trial as part of the CHOICE remote care platform.
Before working at Southampton, Mark did his PhD at the Institute of Hearing Research, where he used auditory psychophysics and otoacoustic emissions to help develop methods for measuring top-down control of cochlear processing in humans. Following this, Mark was involved in the Health Effects of Ultrasound in Air (HEFUA) project at Southampton, which investigates potential adverse health effects caused by very high-frequency sound and ultrasound.
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