Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.720211
Title: Is binaural hearing accessible using bone conduction stimulation?
Author: Vaughan, Alison Anne
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2017
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Abstract:
It may be assumed that people who rely on hearing via bone conduction (BC) are unable to benefit from the advantages of listening with two ears. Subtle differences in sound perceived at each ear enable a listener to enjoy improved hearing in certain situations, compared to listening with one ear only. When listening via BC, the two ears lack independence compared to air conduction (AC). However, a small number of studies provide evidence to the contrary, indicating that some people may have sufficient independence between the ears to enable at least some benefit. The low independence of the ears seen with BC is due to sound vibrations crossing over the skull and stimulating the opposite cochlea. The effect of BC vibrations inter-ear independence is likely to be influenced by differences in skull characteristics between individuals. It may be that some skulls afford sufficiently large inter-ear independence for the individual to benefit from listening with two ears. A set of three experiments were carried out, culminating in an ambitious experiment that has not, to the author's knowledge been previously reported. The main aim was to investigate inter-subject variation in inter-ear independence. The ability to take advantage of listening with both ears via BC was explored by measuring individual skull characteristics and lateralisation ability, using normal hearing subjects. But first, the behaviour of a recently designed bone vibrator (BV), the balanced electromagnetic separation transducer (BEST), was compared to the B71 with the aim of commenting on the suitably of the BEST for research and clinical use. Experiment 1 indicated that the BEST is suitable for research and clinical use and was used for Experiments 2 and 3. Experiment 2 showed high inter-subject variations in inter-ear independence and lateralisation ability. This indicates the possibility of sufficient inter-ear independence to allow people to benefit from listening with both ears via BC, although not as strongly as with AC. Experiment 3 repeated Experiment 2 using a refined method and with the addition of a deeper investigation in factors that influence inter-ear independence.
Supervisor: Rowan, Daniel Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.720211  DOI: Not available
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