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Individualised and self-adapting sound processing for cochlear implants

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "ISIFit" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: OUDE MARKT 13
city: LEUVEN
postcode: 3000

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Belgium [BE]
 Project website
 Total cost 1˙734˙360 €
 EC max contribution 1˙734˙360 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2014-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-11-01   to  2020-10-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    KATHOLIEKE UNIVERSITEIT LEUVEN BE (LEUVEN) coordinator 1˙734˙360.00


 Project objective

Cochlear implants (CIs) are successful auditory prostheses that enable people with deafness to hear through electrical stimulation of the auditory nerve. In a CI sound processor, a sound signal is converted into a sequence of electrical pulses. This conversion entails many parameters that should ideally be fine-tuned (fitted) for every individual patient, to account for various anatomical and physiological differences. In current clinical practice, devices are fitted during the initial rehabilitation and yearly thereafter. As fitting is very time consuming, only the bare minimum number of parameters is fitted individually. However, for many other parameters, for which currently the same default values are used for all patients, better speech understanding can be achieved with individual fitting. Apart from the fitting, CIs do not take into account the neural or perceptual effects of stimulation. The objective of this project is to provide better fitting to individual patients by developing a closed-loop CI that automatically adjusts its fitting and sound processing based on the neural response to speech. To achieve this, we will (1) objectively measure speech understanding, by recording the electroencephalogram (EEG) in response to ecological speech signals, (2) automatically fit a wide array of sound processing parameters accordingly using a genetic algorithm, and (3) develop a wearable closed-loop CI that continuously records the EEG and adjusts the fitting in real-life situations. This will lead to a better understanding of speech perception of people with a hearing impairment, an objective measure of speech intelligibility with many applications in diagnostics, a method to automatically fit CIs, and a novel closed-loop CI. For the patient this means improved speech intelligibility in noise and therefore better communication and quality of life. For the clinic this means improved efficiency and the ability to better fit devices.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2020 Neetha Das, Jonas Vanthornhout, Tom Francart, Alexander Bertrand
Stimulus-aware spatial filtering for single-trial neural response and temporal response function estimation in high-density EEG with applications in auditory research
published pages: 116211, ISSN: 1053-8119, DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.116211
NeuroImage 204 2020-03-31
2019 Eline Verschueren, Ben Somers, Tom Francart
Neural envelope tracking as a measure of speech understanding in cochlear implant users
published pages: 23-31, ISSN: 0378-5955, DOI: 10.1016/j.heares.2018.12.004
Hearing Research 373 2019-10-17
2019 Benjamin Dieudonné, Tom Francart
Redundant Information Is Sometimes More Beneficial Than Spatial Information to Understand Speech in Noise
published pages: 545-554, ISSN: 0196-0202, DOI: 10.1097/AUD.0000000000000660
Ear and Hearing 40/3 2019-10-14
2018 Neetha Das, Alexander Bertrand, Tom Francart
EEG-based auditory attention detection: boundary conditions for background noise and speaker positions
published pages: 66017, ISSN: 1741-2560, DOI: 10.1088/1741-2552/aae0a6
Journal of Neural Engineering 15/6 2019-10-14
2018 Tom Francart, Konstantin Wiebe, Thomas Wesarg
Interaural Time Difference Perception with a Cochlear Implant and a Normal Ear
published pages: 703-715, ISSN: 1525-3961, DOI: 10.1007/s10162-018-00697-w
Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology 19/6 2019-10-14
2019 Ben Somers, Eline Verschueren, Tom Francart
Neural tracking of the speech envelope in cochlear implant users
published pages: 16003, ISSN: 1741-2560, DOI: 10.1088/1741-2552/aae6b9
Journal of Neural Engineering 16/1 2019-10-14
2019 Lien Decruy, Jonas Vanthornhout, Tom Francart
Evidence for enhanced neural tracking of the speech envelope underlying age-related speech-in-noise difficulties
published pages: 601-615, ISSN: 0022-3077, DOI: 10.1152/jn.00687.2018
Journal of Neurophysiology 122/2 2019-10-14
2017 Wouter Biesmans, Neetha Das, Tom Francart, Alexander Bertrand
Auditory-Inspired Speech Envelope Extraction Methods for Improved EEG-Based Auditory Attention Detection in a Cocktail Party Scenario
published pages: 402-412, ISSN: 1534-4320, DOI: 10.1109/TNSRE.2016.2571900
IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering 25/5 2019-05-28
2018 Ben Somers, Tom Francart, Alexander Bertrand
A generic EEG artifact removal algorithm based on the multi-channel Wiener filter
published pages: 36007, ISSN: 1741-2560, DOI: 10.1088/1741-2552/aaac92
Journal of Neural Engineering 15/3 2019-05-28
2017 Arturo Moncada-Torres, Astrid van Wieringen, Ian C. Bruce, Jan Wouters, Tom Francart
Predicting phoneme and word recognition in noise using a computational model of the auditory periphery
published pages: 300-312, ISSN: 0001-4966, DOI: 10.1121/1.4973569
The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 141/1 2019-05-28
2018 Benjamin Dieudonné, Tom Francart
Head shadow enhancement with low-frequency beamforming improves sound localization and speech perception for simulated bimodal listeners
published pages: 78-84, ISSN: 0378-5955, DOI: 10.1016/j.heares.2018.03.007
Hearing Research 363 2019-05-28
2018 Jonas Vanthornhout, Lien Decruy, Jan Wouters, Jonathan Z. Simon, Tom Francart
Speech Intelligibility Predicted from Neural Entrainment of the Speech Envelope
published pages: 181-191, ISSN: 1525-3961, DOI: 10.1007/s10162-018-0654-z
Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology 19/2 2019-05-28
2018 Lien Decruy, Neetha Das, Eline Verschueren, Tom Francart
The Self-Assessed Békesy Procedure: Validation of a Method to Measure Intelligibility of Connected Discourse
published pages: 233121651880270, ISSN: 2331-2165, DOI: 10.1177/2331216518802702
Trends in Hearing 22 2019-04-18
2017 Charlotte Vercammen, Astrid van Wieringen, Jan Wouters, Tom Francart
Desynchronisation of auditory steady-state responses related to changes in interaural phase differences: an objective measure of binaural hearing
published pages: 464-471, ISSN: 1499-2027, DOI: 10.1080/14992027.2017.1288304
International Journal of Audiology 56/7 2019-04-18
2016 Das, Neetha; Biesmans, Wouter; Bertrand, Alexander; Francart, Tom
The effect of head-related filtering and ear-specific decoding bias on auditory attention detection
published pages: , ISSN: 1741-2560, DOI:
Journal of Neural Engineering 1 2019-05-24
2017 Simon Van Eyndhoven, Tom Francart, Alexander Bertrand
EEG-Informed Attended Speaker Extraction From Recorded Speech Mixtures With Application in Neuro-Steered Hearing Prostheses
published pages: 1045-1056, ISSN: 0018-9294, DOI: 10.1109/TBME.2016.2587382
IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering 64/5 2019-05-24

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