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Research project

Mathematical modelling of the electric potential from cochlear implants for improved diagnosis of poor outcomes

Project overview

Cochlear implants restore hearing. The implants generate electrical currents in the inner ear which are recognised as sound by the brain. The currents generate a pattern of electrical signals on the scalp. We have found that this pattern is different in people who report difficulties hearing with their implant. Importantly the patterns can be easily detected in a standard clinic. We are using this finding to develop a new diagnostic tool for people who otherwise have hard to diagnose problems with their implant. This project paves the way for a validated test for use in all cochlear implant clinics.


Lead researcher

Professor Tracey Newman


Research interests

  • The demographic of populations worldwide is changing. People are living longer but with more years with affected by disability in the last two decades of life. The societal and economic consequences of this change are not being well managed. There is a lag in the development of health interventions and a need for rapid learning for future health and infrastructure planning. Typically, people in poorer economic situations are disproportionately affected by disability in later life.
  • Hearing loss and dementia: I lead multidisciplinary research focussed on hearing loss, the use of cochlear implants to restore hearing in otherwise deaf people and the interaction between hearing loss and dementia.
  • My focus is understanding cellular mechanisms in these conditions and also how the learning and methodologies used to investigate this can be applied across discipline boundaries. I am driving the implementation of data science methodologies for improved management of people who hear with cochlear implants and for the identification of early indicators of cognitive decline. I am championing the engagement of patients in research and as ambassadors to increase awareness of healthcare interventions amongst hard to reach and marginalised communities.
Other researchers

Dr Mary Grasmeder

Senior Clinical Scientist (Audiology)
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