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Discussion sessions - Thursday, June 1st, afternoon


I. Hardware/Acoustics
A) Simulating real world environments and behaviours in the laboratory

Session chairs: Gin Best (Boston University, USA), Bernhard Seeber (TU München)

Short description:
There is a need for tests, even if they can only be performed in specialized laboratories, that can realistically estimate the difficulties caused by hearing loss and realistically estimate the benefits that hearing aids can provide. This session will discuss ways to achieve this, drawing from at least some of the following: realistic acoustic simulations, realistic tasks for the hearing-impaired listener, meaningful measurement of the impact of the difficulties on the listener and/or communication partners, and investigation of the auditory ecology of listeners. Desirably, the last of these will consider how often listeners are in different types of listening situations, and how important is for each situation type to be simulated in a measurement of overall difficulty and benefit.

14.00      Gin Best (Boston University): Introduction

14.05      Volker Hohmann (U Oldenburg): Interactive virtual audio-visual environments for the evaluation of hearing devices

14.25      Janina Fels (RWTH Aachen): Novel approaches towards more realistic listening environments for experiments in complex acoustic scenes

14.45      Adam Westermann (Widex): Informational masking in real world listening environments

15.05      General discussion, Part I

15.15      Coffee Break

15.45      Karolina Smeds (ORCA): Hearing-instrument feature evaluation in the laboratory and in real life

16.05      Doug Brungart (Walter Reed National Military Medical Center): Acoustic and non-acoustic factors influencing speech intelligibility in real-world environments

16.25      General discussion, Part II

17.10      End of session


II. Signal processing and algorithms
A) Perception of hearing aid delay and sound quality in challenging listening environments

Session chair: Tao Zhang (Starkey)

Short description: Since the introduction of the first fully digital hearing devices, researchers have been interested in the perceptual quality of digital audio processing, including the effect throughput delay and signal processing algorithms. Early investigations on hearing aid delay focused on open versus occluded fittings and own voice versus external sounds for normal-hearing listeners in quiet environments. More recent investigations have compared perception of hearing aid delay in hearing-impaired and normal-hearing listeners, as well as in challenging listening environments. For other algorithms, recent focus has been on the tradeoff between performance and quality in both normal hearing and hearing impaired listeners. An important trend in all of this work has been to include perceptual evaluation of processing by hearing impaired listeners in realistic listening scenarios.

14.00      Tao Zhang (Starkey): Introduce the session and the co-chairs

14.03      Pete Derleth (Phonak): An overview of effect of delay for hearing aids from an industry perspective

14.28      Tobias Goehring (Southampton): Tolerable delay for speech processing: effects of hearing ability and acclimatisation

14.53      Martin McKinney (Starkey)* and Tao Zhang: Acceptable hearing aid delay under noisy conditions

15.18      Coffee Break

15.45      Rainer Huber (Oldenburg)*, T. Bisitz, T. Gerkmann, J. Kiessling, H. Meister and B. Kollmeier: Comparison of single-microphone noise reduction schemes: can hearing impaired listeners tell the difference?

16.10      Bernard Seeber (Munich)* and G. Gomez: Preserving pinna cues for spatial perception and sound quality (no slides available)

16.35      Tobias Neher (Oldenburg): Factors in preference for noise reduction processing

17.10      Wrap up of the session


III. Psychoacoustics and fitting
A) EEG, physiological signals (EOG,…) and hearing

Session chairs: Tom Francart (KU Leuven), Stefan Debener (U Oldenburg & Fraunhofer HSA)

Short description: Closing the auditory loop by reading out brain activity or other physiological signals to steer hearing devices has been a challenging, competitive research area for several years already. Which signals can be used and how should they be recorded? How can certain brain states (like increased listening effort or physical exercise) be monitored in a way accessible to hearing devices? Can they be influenced by external activities or triggers? The state-of-the art and current trends and challenges will be discussed in this session.

14.00      Tom Francart (KU Leuven): Introduction


14.20      Tobias Neher (Oldenburg): Using eye-gaze tracking to uncover the effect of hearing aid use on speech comprehension


14.40      Jan Wouters (KU Leuven): Enhanced speech reception in cochlear implants using auditory steady-state brain responses


15.00      Discussion, spillover to coffee break


15.30      Coffee Break


15.40      Preben Kidmose (Aarhus): Objective audiometry in hearing aids


16.00      Martin Bleichner (Oldenburg): The transparent EEG concept: From smartphone based ear-EEG acquisition to hearing aid control


16.20      Alexander Bertrand (KU Leuven): Neuro-steered hearing aids: Acoustic noise suppression based on auditory attention detection


16.40      Discussion


17.10      Wrap-up


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