The 2nd Music & Cochlear Implants Symposium
August 20-21, 2018 at Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital
Thanks to all the presenters and participants for making the symposium a fantastic event!
Participants at 2nd International Symposium on Music and Cochlear Implants
CI Users' Discussion panel
Jeremy Marozeau chaired a session with a number of cochlear implant users about their experiences with music. The discussion and their stories made an everlasting impression on all the attendants.
The participants had all recorded a testimonial about their experiences as part of the selection process and have generously allowed the links to be shared here:
- Bettina Gellinek Turner's testimonial
- Renee Blue O'Connell's testimonial
- Alek Mansouri's testimonial
Cochlear Implants have proven a very effective treatment for severe to profound hearing loss and for congenital or post-lingual deafness. Today more than 450,000 patients use a CI and congenitally deaf children and adults with an acquired deafness or profound hearing loss are implanted routinely in many countries. While the majority of CI patients achieve good speech perception, many experience a very poor music perception – both self-reported levels of music enjoyment as well as measured ability to discriminate fundamental features in music are significantly lower than in normal hearing subjects. Decades of research and product development on CI signal processing, stimulation and rehabilitation has focused mainly on speech sounds and little on music listening and enjoyment.
The poor music “delivery” in current CI devices stands in stark contrast to the general understanding that music is an important part of human wellbeing and Quality of Life. Recent scientific evidence points at music as an important auditory input for development of the human brain – both in terms of cognitive, emotional and auditory processing abilities. Similarly, throughout time and across cultures music has always played an important role in social gatherings – listening to music with friends, singing in the church or going to live music events is something many cochlear implant patients do not find pleasant.
There is no doubt that music is an essential part of social life, health and general wellbeing – and that substantial research is still needed to give hard of hearing people better access to this dimension of life. This is why we again wish to bring together researchers across the globe to join forces on bringing music to Cochlear Implant users.
Professor Charles Limb, Director of Douglas Grant Cochlear Implant Center at UCSF.
Professor Robert Zatorre, James McGill Professor at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital and co-founder of the International Laboratory for Brain, Music and Sound Research