Projectdetails

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Does a music intervention improve hearing in cochlear implant users more than an active control intervention?

Keywords:
serious gaming cochlear implant users hearing rehabilitation

Researchers:
R.H. Free
dr. E. Harding
B. Maat
prof. D. Ba┼čkent

Nature of the research:
randomized controlled trial; administering behavioral intervention; data collection; statistics

Fields of study:
ENT medicine

Background / introduction
In cochlear implant (CI) users, an electrode array implanted to the cochlea of a deaf ear transduces sound to the auditory nerve. While the implant can restore partial hearing, years of auditory deprivation can result in poorer central auditory processing of sound heard from the implant. Previous research with normal-hearing participants indicates that the neuroplasticity involved in improvisation-based musical training may facilitate the central auditory processing of sounds by engaging an audiomotor network. These previous findings motivate research with CI users, as their intact motor networks can theoretically bootstrap healthier auditory processing during audiomotor integration.
Research question / problem definition
However, such audiomotor integration and any resulting improvement to central auditory processing may not be linked per se to the domain of music. For example, video games couple motor skill learning with the auditory sound effects elicited during the game. Therefore, we contrast a music intervention with an active control intervention — Minecraft serious gaming — in an upcoming randomized controlled trial with CI users.
Workplan
KNO UMCG is seeking medical students with good Dutch language skills to be the instructors that teach Minecraft to CI users in the active control intervention (no previous knowledge of Minecraft is necessary). Moreover, the students will collect data at multiple timepoints to monitor whether the (control) intervention improves scores on a battery of listening tests.
References
Bangert, M., & Altenmüller, E. O. (2003). Mapping perception to action in piano practice: A longitudinal DC-EEG study. BMC Neuroscience, 4. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2202-4-26

Elsner, B., Hommel, B., Mentschel, C., Drzezga, A., Prinz, W., Conrad, B., & Siebner, H. (2002). Linking actions and their perceivable consequences in the human brain. NeuroImage, 17(1), 364–372. https://doi.org/10.1006/nimg.2002.1162

Harris, R., & De Jong, B. M. (2015). Differential parietal and temporal contributions to music perception in improvising and score-dependent musicians, an fMRI study. Brain Research, 1624, 253–264. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brainres.2015.06.050

Herwig, A., Prinz, W., & Waszak, F. (2007). Two modes of sensorimotor integration in intention-based and stimulus-based actions. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 60(11), 1540–1554. https://doi.org/10.1080/17470210601119134

Jäncke, L., Gaab, N., Wüstenberg, T., Scheich, H., & Heinze, H. J. (2001). Short-term functional plasticity in the human auditory cortex: An fMRI study. Cognitive Brain Research, 12(3), 479–485. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0926-6410(01)00092-1

Pesnot Lerousseau, J., Hidalgo, C., & Schön, D. (2020). Musical Training for Auditory Rehabilitation in Hearing Loss. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 9(4), 1058. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9041058
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