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Using the Mismatch Negativity (MMN) to Evaluate Split Processing in Hearing Aids

Mismatch negativity (MMN) is a well-documented brain signal that appears in the electroencephalogram (EEG) when the auditory system detects an unexpected sound. More recently, the MMN (which doesn’t require the listener’s active participation) has been used to determine if different hearing aid features support or augment a listener’s tracking of changing speech sounds from a single voice out of many. This study shows that the Signia Augmented Xperience (AX) platform and its Augmented Focus (AF) system—which splits the incoming sound into two separate signal streams—increases the contrast between sounds in a “cocktail party”-type setting and enhances listeners’ tracking of changing phonemes. Further, the results suggest the behavioral advantages are probably bottom-up in nature, meaning that AF also likely reduces the effort/fatigue experienced by the wearer when trying to communicate in noisy environments.

IHS 2021 Convention to be Held August 12-14 in San Diego

The 69th Annual International Hearing Society Convention will be held—in person!—on August 12-14 at the Town and Country Resort in San Diego. This year’s convention offers up to 9.5 CEUs, deep dives into the hottest topics in hearing healthcare, and networking with peers, subject-matter experts, and industry leaders.

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Protecting Hearing in a Noisy World

With life, comes noise. From the chorus of weed whackers and lawn mowers in the summer months, these background noises form the soundtrack to our daily routines. Though it may be easy to tune out the constant screech of a subway train or the incessant honking of car horns, at a certain sustained level, noise can potentially damage the sensitive structures within the ear.

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Augmenting Speech Recognition with a New Split-processing Paradigm

Research findings are presented for the Signia AX platform, with its introduction of a new signal processing paradigm called Augmented Focus, which splits the incoming sounds into two separate signal streams. The activation of Augmented Focus showed a significant benefit for speech recognition in background noise, and when compared to leading competitors, a significant advantage also was observed. Additionally, when combined with the Signia AX binaural beamformer, speech recognition for the participants with hearing loss was significantly better than for their normal-hearing counterparts.

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