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Neuromagnetic evaluation of a communication support system for hearing-impaired patients

Nakagawa, Keia,b; Nakaishi, Shinichirob,e; Imura, Takeshia,b; Kawahara, Yumid; Hashizume, Akirac; Kurisu, Kaorub,c; Yuge, Louisa,b,d

doi: 10.1097/WNR.0000000000000817
INTEGRATIVE SYSTEMS
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Hearing-impaired patients often encounter obstacles in communication. Not all of them wear hearing aids, citing issues with usage difficulty and discomfort in wearing. To overcome these difficulties, a new endeavor was started to improve sound intelligibility from the speaker’s side. The present study objectively evaluated an intelligible-hearing (IH) loudspeaker by means of magnetoencephalography. Magnetic counterparts of mismatch negativity (MMNm) to pronunciation (‘mi’ and ‘ni’) were recorded and compared when they were transmitted from the IH loudspeaker and from a normal-hearing loudspeaker. On using the IH loudspeaker, the peak latency was found to be significantly shortened. In the case of hearing-impaired participants, marked MMNm responses were observed only when the IH loudspeaker was used. These findings suggest that improving sound intelligibility may be a supportive and rehabilitative approach for hearing-impaired patients.

aDivision of Bio-Environmental Adaptation Sciences, Graduate School of Biomedical and Health Sciences

bSpace Regenerative Medical Center

cDepartment of Neurosurgery, Graduate School of Biomedical and Health Sciences, Hiroshima University

dSpace Bio-Laboratories Co., Ltd., Hiroshima

eUniversal Sound Design Inc., Tokyo, Japan

Correspondence to Louis Yuge, PhD, Division of Bio-Environmental Adaptation Sciences, Graduate School of Biomedical and Health Sciences, Hiroshima University, 1-2-3 Kasumi, Minami-ku, Hiroshima 734-8551, Japan Tel: +81 82 257 5425; fax: +81 82 257 5344; e-mail: ryuge@hiroshima-u.ac.jp

Received March 29, 2017

Accepted May 11, 2017

© 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins