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Hearing4all Symposium

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The Future of Hearing

On 6th and 7th November 2014, the Cluster of Excellence Hearing4all hosts the third international symposium „The Future of Hearing“ in Oldenburg. Highly renowned international speakers from USA, Australia, and Belgium, as well as the cluster’s very own Task Groups present and discuss the state of the art in hearing research. Hot topics are diagnostics of hearing disorders, the future of hearing aids and cochlear implant technology, and development of assistive devices.

15 million people in Germany alone suffer from hearing loss. Even though current technology alleviates the problem to the extent that a normal life is possible even for those affected by severe hearing loss, optimal, individual treatment still leaves a lot of room for improvement. The cluster of Excellence Hearing4all aims to improve hearing diagnostics in such a way that a potential treatment addresses the underlying individual causes of hearing loss. Furthermore, sound quality of hearing devices still leaves a lot to be desired since aided hearing currently does not (yet) convey the same perceptual impression as unimpaired hearing. Finally, improvements in the aforementioned ares also help develop novel technologies in customer elctronics, where individual preference settings may significantly improve the listening experience for everyone individually, even without any hearing loss.

Having top international experts such as Blake Wilson (Duke University), Harvey Dillon (National Acoustics Laboratory, Sydney), and Hynek Hermansky (Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore) reflects the impact of Hearing4all and its research worldwide. In 30 minute talks and several poster sessions, scientists from Oldenburg and Hannover present highlights from different Research Areas of the Cluster. These provide not only in-depth insight into current research, but also display the breadth and variety of topics in the Cluster. For example, issues such as the successful sampling and biochemical analysis of human perilymph are presented next to novel technologies for cochlea implants and common hard and software solutions for hearing device development; in addition, a market-ready hearing screening station is presented. These are just some of the highlights covered on the two-day symposium, which starts on Thursday, 6 November 2014, 10 am, and ends on Friday, 7 November, 3 pm.