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Research project

S Bell 2015 - Personalised fitting & evaluation of hearing aids with EEG responses

Project overview

The project aims to develop algorithms and associated experimental protocols that can be used for personalized hearing aid fitting, based on stimuli that patients consider realistic and challenging. The vision is to reduce the reliance on subjective, voluntary responses, and move to more objective approaches based on neurophysiological responses. Objective approaches have the advantage that they can be carried out in patients who are unable to provide such voluntary responses, for example infants or the elderly with dementia. Also by monitoring hearing without constant interruption to assess patients' perception, the performance of the hearing aid can be assessed in more natural listening conditions and over a longer time scale than is typically available in audiology clinics.


Lead researcher

Professor Steve Bell


Research interests

  • evoked responses: measuring electrical responses from the hearing and balance system in response to sensory stimulation;
  • evaluating the benefits of hearing aid and cochlear implant technology;
  • principle investigator on the EPSRC funded project ‘Personalized fitting and evaluation of hearing aids with EEG responses’ 
Connect with Steve
Other researchers

Professor David Simpson

Prof of Biomedical Signal Processing

Research interests

  • His research interests are in biomedical signal processing with applications in neurophysiology and cardio-vascular and cerebro-vascular control. Specific topics are:
  • Blood flow control in the brain (how does the brain regulate is own blood supply and how to detect impairment of this function).
  • Auditory evoked potentials (methods to detect the small electrical responses of the brain to auditory stimulation for the assessment of various hearing disorders).
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Dr Ben Lineton

Associate Professor

Research interests

  • Much of cochlear physiology and pathophysiology remains poorly understood. For example, how do the 3000 rows of active outer hair cells interact with each other and with other cochlear structures to amplify the waves in the cochlea that allow us to hear? How are the motions of these cochlear structures related to the otoacoustic emissions that we can measure in the ear canal?  What role do the efferent nerves play?  What are the changes brought about by pathology? The long term research goal is to understand human cochlear physiology in both normal and pathological conditions with a view to aiding the development of improved clinical diagnostic techniques and treatments.  One approach to improving our understanding of the electro-mechanical aspect of physiology is to develop realistic models of the cochlea.  These should capture the essential hydrodynamics, structural dynamics, and electrical processes involved in cochlear physiology. The non-linear mechano-electrical and electro-mechanical transduction processes are key aspects of the physiology where our understanding remains at a basic level. The ways in which these models may be useful clinically are: to aid the development of treatments, or prostheses for hearing impairment, to improve our ability to interpret clinical results (such as measurements of otoacoustic emissions or electrophysiology), to aid the development of new clinical tests of cochlear function.
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Collaborating research institutes, centres and groups

Research outputs

Frederique J. Vanheusden, Mikolaj Kegler, Katie Ireland, Constantina Georga, David M. Simpson, Tobias Reichenbach & Steven L. Bell, 2020, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 14, 1-13
Type: article
Michael Alexander Chesnaye, Steven Bell, James Michael Harte & David Simpson, 2019, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Type: article
Frederique J. Vanheusden, Michael A. Chesnaye, David M. Simpson & Steven L. Bell, 2018, International Journal of Audiology, 58(6), 355-362
Type: article
Ghada BinKhamis, A Leger, Steven Bell, G Prendergast, M. O'Driscoll & Karolina Kluk, 2018, Ear and Hearing
Type: article