Music Pre-Processing for Cochlear Implants

A Cochlear Implant (CI) is a medical device that enables profoundly hearing impaired people to perceive sounds by electrically stimulating the auditory nerve using an electrode array implanted in the cochlea. The focus of most research on signal processing for CIs has been on strategies to improve speech understanding in quiet and in background noise, since the main aim for implanting a CI was (and still is) to restore the ability to communicate. Most CI users perform quite well in terms of speech understanding. On the other hand, music perception and appreciation are generally very poor. The main goal of this PhD project was to investigate and to improve the poor music enjoyment in CI users. An initial experiment with multi-track recordings was carried out to examine the music mixing preferences for different instruments in polyphonic or complex music. In ...

Buyefns, Wim — KU Leuven


When the deaf listen to music. Pitch perception with cochlear implants

Cochlear implants (CI) are surgically implanted hearing aids that provide auditory sensations to deaf people through direct electrical stimulation of the auditory nerve. Although relatively good speech understanding can be achieved by implanted subjects, pitch perception by CI subjects is about 50 times worse than observed for normal-hearing (NH) persons. Pitch is, however, important for intonation, music, speech understanding in tonal languages, and for separating multiple simultaneous sound sources. The major goal of this work is to improve pitch perception by CI subjects. In CI subjects two fundamental mechanisms are used for pitch perception: place pitch and temporal pitch. Our results show that place pitch is correlated to the sound¢s brightness because place pitch sensation is related to the centroid of the excitation pattern along the cochlea. The slopes of the excitation pattern determine place pitch sensitivity. Our results also ...

Laneau, Johan — Katholieke Universiteit Leuven


Improving Auditory Steady-State Response Detection Using Multichannel EEG Signal Processing

The ability to hear and process sounds is crucial. For adults, the inevitable ongoing aging process reduces the quality of the speech and sounds one perceives. If this effect is allowed to evolve too far, social isolation may occur. For infants, a disability in processing sounds results in an inappropriate development of speech, language, and cognitive abilities. To reduce the handicap of hearing loss in children, it is important to detect the hearing loss early and to provide effective rehabilitation. As a result, hearing of all newborns needs to be screened. If the outcome of the screening does not indicate normal hearing, more detailed hearing assessment is required. However, standard behavioral testing is not possible, so that assessment has to rely on objective physiological techniques that are not influenced by sleep or sedation. The last few decades, the use of ...

Van Dun, Bram — KU Leuven


New approaches for EEG signal processing: Artifact EOG removal by ICA-RLS scheme and Tracks extraction method

Localizing the bioelectric phenomena originating from the cerebral cortex and evoked by auditory and somatosensory stimuli are clear objectives to both understand how the brain works and to recognize different pathologies. Diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, schizophrenia and epilepsy are intensively studied to find a cure or accurate diagnosis. Epilepsy is considered the disease with major prevalence within disorders with neurological origin. The recurrent and sudden incidence of seizures can lead to dangerous and possibly life-threatening situations. Since disturbance of consciousness and sudden loss of motor control often occur without any warning, the ability to predict epileptic seizures would reduce patients' anxiety, thus considerably improving quality of life and safety. The common procedure for epilepsy seizure detection is based on brain activity monitorization via electroencephalogram (EEG) data. This process consumes a lot of time, especially in the case of long ...

Carlos Guerrero-Mosquera — University Carlos III of Madrid


Design and Evaluation of Feedback Control Algorithms for Implantable Hearing Devices

Using a hearing device is one of the most successful approaches to partially restore the degraded functionality of an impaired auditory system. However, due to the complex structure of the human auditory system, hearing impairment can manifest itself in different ways and, therefore, its compensation can be achieved through different classes of hearing devices. Although the majority of hearing devices consists of conventional hearing aids (HAs), several other classes of hearing devices have been developed. For instance, bone-conduction devices (BCDs) and cochlear implants (CIs) have successfully been used for more than thirty years. More recently, other classes of implantable devices have been developed such as middle ear implants (MEIs), implantable BCDs, and direct acoustic cochlear implants (DACIs). Most of these different classes of hearing devices rely on a sound processor running different algorithms able to compensate for the hearing impairment. ...

Bernardi, Giuliano — KU Leuven


Detection of epileptic seizures based on video and accelerometer recordings

Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological diseases, especially in children. And although the majority of patients can be treated through medication or surgery (70%-75%), a significant group of patients cannot be treated. For this latter group of patients it is advisable to follow the evolution of the disease. This can be done through a long-term automatic monitoring, which gives an objective measure of the number of seizures that the patient has, for example during the night. On the other hand, there is a reduced social control overnight and the parents or caregivers can miss some seizures. In severe seizures, it is sometimes necessary, however, to avoid dangerous situations during or after the seizure (e.g. the danger of suffocation caused by vomiting or a position that obstructs breathing, or the risk of injury during violent movements), and to comfort ...

Cuppens, Kris — Katholieke Universiteit Leuven


Development of an automated neonatal EEG seizure monitor

Brain function requires a continuous flow of oxygen and glucose. An insufficient supply for a few minutes during the first period of life may have severe consequences or even result in death. This happens in one to six infants per 1000 live term births. Therefore, there is a high need for a method which can enable bedside brain monitoring to identify those neonates at risk and be able to start the treatment in time. The most important currently available technology to continuously monitor brain function is electroEncephaloGraphy (or EEG). Unfortunately, visual EEG analysis requires particular skills which are not always present round the clock in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Even if those skills are available it is laborsome to manually analyse many hours of EEG. The lack of time and skill are the main reasons why EEG is ...

Deburchgraeve, Wouter — KU Leuven


Decomposition methods with applications in neuroscience

The brain is the most important signal processing unit in the human body. It is responsible for receiving, processing and storing information. One of the possibilities to study brain functioning is by placing electrodes on the scalp and recording the synchronous neuronal activity of the brain. Such a recording measures a combination of active processes in the whole brain. Unfortunately, it is also contaminated by artifacts. By extracting the artifacts and removing them, cleaned recordings can be investigated. Furthermore, it is easier to look at specific brain activities, like an epileptic seizure, than at a combination. In this thesis, we present different mathematical techniques that can be used to extract individual contributing sources from the measured signals for this purpose. We focused on Canonical Correlation Analysis (CCA), Independent Component Analysis (ICA) and Canonical/ Parallel Factor Analysis (CPA). We show that ...

De Vos, Maarten — Katholieke Universiteit Leuven


Emotion assessment for affective computing based on brain and peripheral signals

Current Human-Machine Interfaces (HMI) lack of “emotional intelligence”, i.e. they are not able to identify human emotional states and take this information into account to decide on the proper actions to execute. The goal of affective computing is to fill this lack by detecting emotional cues occurring during Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and synthesizing emotional responses. In the last decades, most of the studies on emotion assessment have focused on the analysis of facial expressions and speech to determine the emotional state of a person. Physiological activity also includes emotional information that can be used for emotion assessment but has received less attention despite of its advantages (for instance it can be less easily faked than facial expressions). This thesis reports on the use of two types of physiological activities to assess emotions in the context of affective computing: the activity ...

Chanel, Guillaume — University of Geneva


Data-Driven Multimodal Signal Processing With Applications To EEG-fMRI Fusion

Most cognitive processes in the brain are reflected through several aspects simultaneously, allowing us to observe the same process from different biological phenomena. The diverse nature of these biological processes suggests that a better understanding of cerebral activity may be achieved through multimodal measurements. One of the possible multimodal brain recording settings is the combination of electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which is one of the main topics of this thesis. Two groups of EEG-fMRI integration approaches are possible. The first group, commonly called model-based techniques, are very popular due to the fact that the results from such analyses confirm or disprove a specific hypothesis. However, such hypotheses are not always available, requiring a more explorative approach to analyze the data. This exploration is possible with the second group of approaches, the so-called data-driven methods. The data-driven ...

Mijović, Bogdan — KU Leuven


Localisation of Brain Functions: Stimuling Brain Activity and Source Reconstruction for Classification

A key issue in understanding how the brain functions is the ability to correlate functional information with anatomical localisation. Functional information can be provided by a variety of techniques like positron emission tomography (PET), functional MRI (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG), magnetoencephalography (MEG) or transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). All these methods provide different, but complementary, information about the functional areas of the brain. PET and fMRI provide spatially accurate picture of brain regions involved in a given task. TMS permits to infer the contribution of the stimulated brain area to the task under investigation. EEG and MEG, which reflects brain activity directly, have temporal accuracy of the order of a millisecond. TMS, EEG and MEG are offset by their low spatial resolution. In this thesis, we propose two methods to improve the spatial accuracy of method based on TMS and EEG. The ...

Noirhomme, Quentin — Katholieke Universiteit Leuven


Automated detection of epileptic seizures in pediatric patients based on accelerometry and surface electromyography

Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological diseases that manifests in repetitive epileptic seizures as a result of an abnormal, synchronous activity of a large group of neurons. Depending on the affected brain regions, seizures produce various severe clinical symptoms. There is no cure for epilepsy and sometimes even medication and other therapies, like surgery, vagus nerve stimulation or ketogenic diet, do not control the number of seizures. In that case, long-term (home) monitoring and automatic seizure detection would enable the tracking of the evolution of the disease and improve objective insight in any responses to medical interventions or changes in medical treatment. Especially during the night, supervision is reduced; hence a large number of seizures is missed. In addition, an alarm should be integrated into the automated seizure detection algorithm for severe seizures in order to help the ...

Milošević, Milica — KU Leuven


Prediction and Optimization of Speech Intelligibility in Adverse Conditions

In digital speech-communication systems like mobile phones, public address systems and hearing aids, conveying the message is one of the most important goals. This can be challenging since the intelligibility of the speech may be harmed at various stages before, during and after the transmission process from sender to receiver. Causes which create such adverse conditions include background noise, an unreliable internet connection during a Skype conversation or a hearing impairment of the receiver. To overcome this, many speech-communication systems include speech processing algorithms to compensate for these signal degradations like noise reduction. To determine the effect on speech intelligibility of these signal processing based solutions, the speech signal has to be evaluated by means of a listening test with human listeners. However, such tests are costly and time consuming. As an alternative, reliable and fast machine-driven intelligibility predictors are ...

Taal, Cees — Delft University of Technology


Mining the ECG: Algorithms and Applications

This research focuses on the development of algorithms to extract diagnostic information from the ECG signal, which can be used to improve automatic detection systems and home monitoring solutions. In the first part of this work, a generically applicable algorithm for model selection in kernel principal component analysis is presented, which was inspired by the derivation of respiratory information from the ECG signal. This method not only solves a problem in biomedical signal processing, but more importantly offers a solution to a long-standing problem in the field of machine learning. Next, a methodology to quantify the level of contamination in a segment of ECG is proposed. This level is used to detect artifacts, and to improve the performance of different classifiers, by removing these artifacts from the training set. Furthermore, an evaluation of three different methodologies to compute the ECG-derived ...

Varon, Carolina — KU Leuven


Analysis of electrophysiological measurements during stress monitoring

Work-related musculoskeletal disorders are a growing problem in todays society. These musculoskeletal disorders are caused by, amongst others, repetitive movements and mental stress. Stress is defined as the mismatch between a perceived demand and the perceived capacities to meet this demand. Although stress has a subjective origin, several physiological manifestations (e.g. cardiovascular and muscular) occur during periods of perceived stress. New insight and algorithms to extract information, related to stress are beneficial. Therefore, two series of stress experiments are executed in a laboratory environment, where subjects underwent different tasks inducing physical strain, mental stress and a combination of both. In this manuscript, new and modified algorithms for electromyography signals are presented that improve the individual analysis of electromyography signals. A first algorithm removes the interference of the electrical activity of the heart on singlechannel electromyography measurements. This interference signal is ...

Taelman, Joachim — KU Leuven

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