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[AUDITORY] MRC 'OverHear' Conference - Save the date: 6th October 2017

Dear List,


Please see this conference announcement, to be held in London on the 6th and 7th of October.




The Medical Research Council and the UCL Ear Institute announce:

Real-world assessment of hearing aids and listening behaviour.

Save the date: Friday October 6th – Saturday October 7th

UCL Ear Institute and the PAMELA facility, London


The MRC OverHear Network* wish to invite the wider community of researchers to discuss how to make hearing interventions work better in the real world, how to build hearing devices that assist people in new ways and in new situations, and how to improve our built environments to make them compatible with a far larger range of hearing impairments.


To this end we will be holding a one-day conference at the UCL Ear Institute on Friday the 6th of October. The conference will focus broadly on true-to-life measurements of performance and behaviour in hearing impaired listeners and users of hearing devices. Special attention will be given to examinations of natural behaviour adaptation in realistic environments and real-world outcomes. Invited speakers who have agreed to give talks include:


John Culling and Jacques Grange (Cardiff)

    "Optimal head orientation of hearing-impaired listeners in noisy environments"


Deborah Vickers (UCL)

    "Training spatial listening to improve real world hearing for cochlear implant users"


Volker Hohmann and Giso Grimm (Oldenburg, Germany)

    "Active motion behaviour in complex listening environments"


Valerie Hazan and Outi Toumainen (UCL)

    "Speech communication in adverse listening conditions across the lifespan"


Sergi Costafreda Gonzalez

    'What support do people with cognitive impairment need to use hearing aids?'


Jennifer Bizley (UCL)

    'How does seeing improve listening?’


Niels Henrik Pontoppidan (Eriksholm/Oticon - Project Coordinator for H2020 EVOTION)

    "Hearing aids and listening in complex environments: intents, attention, behaviour, and processing"


Alan Archer-Boyd (MRC CBU Cambridge)

    "Head movements during conversation in different acoustic environments"


Anne Schilder (UCL)

    ‘Hearing loss and hearing aids: what matters to patients?’


There will also be an accompanying half day open-house on the morning of Saturday the 7th of October at the Pedestrian Accessibility and Movement Environment Laboratory (PAMELA) facility in London. This facility is a unique, highly-configurable multi-sensory environment in which it is possible to track and monitor a range of behavioural and physiological signals while adjusting multi-channel sound, lighting, and environmental factors (e.g. architecture, surfaces, objects, and rooms). The scope of this facility is astonishing, in the past it has been used to test new subway doors by bringing an actual subway car into the lab, building a platform, and tracking hundreds of people getting in and out.

We sincerely hope that you will consider attending and taking part in this short meeting. We fully expect a number of collaborations and large grant projects to spin out of the work that is presented and discussed there, and our best chances for success lie in gathering together the most diverse and informed group of people. An announcement with abstract submission instructions will follow.



Owen Brimijoin, on behalf of the MRC OverHear Network.




*The MRC OverHear Network was set up with several goals in mind. First was to establish a network of basic scientists, engineers, clinicians, and commercial partners tasked with developing ‘real-world’ assessment of hearing aids. The group has been working on determining the best choice of behavioural and objective measures that could be used to provide evidence of the functionality, use, and efficacy of hearing aids in real-world environments and multi-talker interactions. The network also focusses on robust investigations into how hearing impaired listeners and hearing-aid users hear, communicate, and interact in complex listening environments, with the view to improving interventions as well as the functionality and fitting of hearing-aids.


The OverHear steering group consists of Owen Brimijoin (MRC), Nick Tyler (UCL), John Culling (Cardiff), Stefan Bleeck (ISVR), Anne Schilder (UCL), Jen Linden (UCL), and Jonathan Gale (UCL).


Other contributors have included: David McAlpine, Alain de Cheveigne, Stuart Rosen, Mark Plumbley, Mike Brooks, Doris Bamiou, Lauren Hadley, Aneeka Degun, Daniel Dominey, William Whitmer, and Guoping Li.






Please note my new email: owen.brimijoin@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

W. Owen Brimijoin

Senior Investigator Scientist

Medical Research Council/Chief Scientist Office Institute of Hearing Research - Scottish Section

Glasgow Royal Infirmary

t: +44 (0) 141 201 8750





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