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Tactile Auditory Sensory Substitution. Ryan Thome, Sarah Offutt, Laura Bagley, Amy Weaver, Jack Page BME 200/300 October 20, 2006. Client: Veronica H. Heide, Au.D. Audible Difference Advisor: Mitchell E. Tyler, P.E., M.S. Dept. of Biomedical Engineering & Dept. of Ortho-Rehab Medicine

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tactile auditory sensory substitution

Tactile Auditory Sensory Substitution

Ryan Thome, Sarah Offutt, Laura Bagley, Amy Weaver, Jack Page

BME 200/300

October 20, 2006

slide2
Client:

Veronica H. Heide, Au.D.

Audible Difference

Advisor:

Mitchell E. Tyler, P.E., M.S.

Dept. of Biomedical Engineering &

Dept. of Ortho-Rehab Medicine

University of Wisconsin - Madison

overview
Overview
  • Problem Statement
  • Background
  • Proposed Designs
  • Future Work
  • Questions
problem statement
Problem Statement

The goal is to design and develop an auditory substitution device that through the use of a digital hearing aid and either vibro- or electro-tactile stimulation can substitute for regional frequency hearing loss.

pds summary
PDS Summary
  • Adjusts to user specific hearing loss
  • Works with digital hearing aid output
  • Use vibro- or electro- tactile stimulation
  • Not highly noticeable (discrete or aesthetically acceptable)
sensory substitution
Sensory Substitution
  • Presenting environmental information absent in one sensory modality to another
  • Examples:
    • Long Cane - visual navigation substituted though touch
    • Sign Language - speech substitution through vision
    • Braille - visual text substitution though touch
high frequency hearing loss
High Frequency Hearing Loss
  • Sensorineural
  • Normal hearing = 50 – 20,000 Hz
  • Above 1,000 Hz is lost
  • Loss of ability to hear certain high frequency consonants
  • Like hitting piano key with no strings

Krames Communications.

existing devices
Existing Devices
  • Tickle Talker
    • Electric shock on sides of fingers
    • One electrode per range of frequency
  • Tactaid 7
    • Vibro-tactile stimulation on sternum, abdomen, forearm or neck
  • Tacticon 1600

http://us.st11.yimg.com/us.st.yimg.com/I/audiologicalengineering_1903_431188

digital hearing aid
Digital Hearing Aid
  • Two main types:

In-the-ear (ITE)

Behind-the-ear (BTE)

  • Frequency range 100 Hz – 7300 Hz
  • Takes analog waveform and converts it to string of numbers
  • Gain processing, digital feedback reduction, noise reduction, speech enhancement
sound processing unit
Sound Processing Unit
  • Obtains high frequency signal from hearing aid
  • Amplifies signal
  • Several channels of frequency
  • Channel signals corresponding tactile stimulus to fire
electro vs vibro tactile stimulation
Electro-

Pros

Less power consumption – 1.2mW per 3 mm electrode

Smaller

Easier construction

Cons

Potential for shock and burns (only @ v. large current)

Sensation quality varies

Limited dynamic range of sensation

Vibro-

Pros

Less variation in sensation

Comfort

Cons

More power consumption - 138 mW per 4 mm electrode

Harder to attach

More complex construction

Electro- vs. Vibro-Tactile Stimulation
placement
Placement
  • In the ear
    • Pros
      • Completely concealed from outsiders
    • Cons
      • Less space for differentiation
      • More complex construction
  • Behind the ear
    • Pros
      • Mostly concealed from outsiders
      • Easy access to hearing aid
    • Cons
      • Attachment impeded by hair
  • Neck
    • Pros
      • Most space for tactile layout
      • Easiest construction
    • Cons
      • Easily noticeable to outsiders
alternative design 1 2
Alternative Design 1 & 2

Design 1

Electro-Neck

Design 2

Vibro-BTE

proposed design
Proposed Design
  • Electro-BTE
  • Array of electrodes aligned vertically behind ear
  • Each electrode corresponds to certain frequency range
  • As frequency increases each corresponding channel signals the electrode
future work
Future Work
  • Decide on components
  • Design and build signal processing unit
  • Determine two point discrimination threshold
  • Analyze signal from hearing aid and break into channels
references
References
  • Krames Communications. (1995). Hearing Aids. [Brochure]. San Bruno, CA.
  • Audiological Engineering Corp. (n.d.) Tactaid 7. Retrieved 29 September, 2006 from http://www.tactaid.com/tactaid71.html.