Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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NWO Grant for Advancement of Cochlear Implant Algorithms

Date of news: 1 June 2023

john van opstal

The NWO has awarded funding to OtoControl-2.0, led by John van Opstal, under the Open Technology Programme. OtoControl-2.0 is one of seven projects selected to receive a total funding of 5.4 million Euros from NWO, and an additional 1.4 million Euros from investing organizations. The primary objective of this project is to develop improved algorithms for cochlear implants.

OtoControl-2.0 represents a significant step towards achieving optimal personalized fitting of cochlear implants. While cochlear implants have provided the gift of hearing and speech comprehension to the deaf, there exists a substantial and unexplained variability in performance among users. Currently, clinical fitting of the device relies on standardized "one-size-fits-all" procedures. However, to address this challenge, it is important to precisely characterize each user's auditory system and tailor the cochlear implant.

Within this project, researchers will focus on developing and testing methods to analyze extensive sets of objective psychophysical and electrophysiological data obtained from numerous cochlear implant users across various clinical centers. By leveraging novel machine learning algorithms and a smartphone application, the team aims to provide data-driven fitting recommendations that optimize the auditory performance of each individual user.

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