Research Seeks Answers to Cochlear Implant Language Development Failures
The Cochlear Implant converts acoustic energy from the environment into an electrical impulse that passes up to the Temporal lobe where it is heard. The processed sound signal must then pass to other regions of the brain used for speech and language as well as to other emotive regions. The Bionic Institutes Prof Collette McKay indicated research was underway to determine why some children with implants did better than others. Using a special cap filled with sensors it is hoped more can be learnt about how the brain of very young children process the sound using functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). This indirectly measures the amount of oxygen in the blood in different parts of the brain. It is hoped the results of the research lead to better methods of providing hearing habilitation to those children who currently do less well.