We perceive the world through all our senses. For example, the experience of drinking a good wine involves our sense of taste, smell, vision, and touch. Similarly, we do not only hear music, but we also feel it through vibrations. We can easily forget it because our sense of hearing is more adapted to transmit acoustic waves than our sense of touch. However, someone with a hearing loss will rely more heavily on this other sense to compensate for his/her deficit.
The main treatment to restore sound perception is either amplifying the sound (the hearing aid) or directly stimulate the auditory nerve (the cochlear implant). However, combining audio and tactile stimulation will allow us to use the body’s full potential and maximize the amount of sound we can restore.
In this talk, I will discuss the different studies from our lab dedicated to restoring the music perception of hearing-impaired listeners through the tactile modality.