The long-term goal of this research is to develop novel stimulation strategies that improve speech and music perception for cochlear implant (CI) users. The approach is based on computational modeling because these techniques, when carefully constrained by experimental studies, can provide deep insight into neural mechanisms that limit how sound information is transmitted to the brain. Moreover, computationally efficient models present the opportunity to evaluate a broader set of stimulation strategies than can be tested in experimental and clinical studies. This opens the door for the discovery of novel stimulation patterns that optimize the delivery of sound information to CI listeners. This research is consistent with the stated goals of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders which include supporting research training in the disordered processes of hearing and supporting efforts to create devices which substitute for lost and impaired sensory function. There are two specific aims of the proposed research. First, a computationally efficient point process model will be derived from an existing biophysically-detailed model that has been parameterized to represent the mammalian auditory nerve response to cochlear implant stimulation.
This aim will be accomplished by fitting model parameters to spike train output of the detailed model using maximum-likelihood methods.
The second aim i s to analyze neural encoding of cochlear implant stimuli by simulating psychophysical tests of temporal processing. Amplitude modulation detection, gap detection, and Schroeder phase discrimination experiments will be simulated using a two alternative forced choice paradigm. By comparing simulation results to known experimental data, it will be possible to identify situations in which the neural response limits performance on psychophysical tests due either to. specific neural mechanisms or to deficiencies in current speech processing strategies. In addition, the computationally efficient model can be used to rapidly explore the space of possible stimulation strategies using global optimization algorithms to search for stimulation strategies that improve the transmission of temporal information to CI listeners. It is hoped that simulations will identify new speech processing strategies that, when implemented in future CI devices, will improve speech and music perception for CI listeners.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F31)
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Communication Disorders Review Committee (CDRC)
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Cyr, Janet
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University of Washington
Biostatistics & Other Math Sci
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Goldwyn, Joshua H; Rubinstein, Jay T; Shea-Brown, Eric (2012) A point process framework for modeling electrical stimulation of the auditory nerve. J Neurophysiol 108:1430-52
Goldwyn, Joshua H; Shea-Brown, Eric (2011) The what and where of adding channel noise to the Hodgkin-Huxley equations. PLoS Comput Biol 7:e1002247
Goldwyn, Joshua H; Imennov, Nikita S; Famulare, Michael et al. (2011) Stochastic differential equation models for ion channel noise in Hodgkin-Huxley neurons. Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys 83:041908
Goldwyn, Joshua H; Bierer, Steven M; Bierer, Julie Arenberg (2010) Modeling the electrode-neuron interface of cochlear implants: effects of neural survival, electrode placement, and the partial tripolar configuration. Hear Res 268:93-104
Goldwyn, Joshua H; Shea-Brown, Eric; Rubinstein, Jay T (2010) Encoding and decoding amplitude-modulated cochlear implant stimuli--a point process analysis. J Comput Neurosci 28:405-24