The CherISH project

Cochlear Implants and Spatial Hearing

Our projects

Project 1 – University of Tübingen (DE)
Tactile assistive system for sound localization in cochlear implant users

Project 2 – University of Tübingen (DE)
Modelling neurophysiological correlates of spatial hearing using a deep neural network model

Project 3 – University of Tübingen (DE)
Impact of interaural time delay on sound localisation

Project 4 – University Claude Bernard Lyon 1 (FR)
Impact of head movements startegy on auditory rehabilitation

Project 5 – University Claude Bernard Lyon 1 (FR)
Impact of visual cues in spatial hearing

Project 6 – Austrian Academy of Sciences (AU)
Neural basis and learning transferabilities of spatial hearing abilities

Project 7 – University of Trento (IT)
The contribution of active movements of the sound source in spatial hearing for cochlear implant users

Project 8 – Katholieke Universitet Leuven (BE)
Enhancement of interaural time cues for spatial hearing in binaural CI users in real life

Project 9 – Cochlear (BE)
Bimodal Fiting for optimal spatial hearing

Project 10 – Nemo Lab/Spatial Soud Institute (HU)
Training of spatial hearing in a virtual open sound field

Project 11UK – Imperial College London (UK)
Using artificial intelligence to optimise and maximise auditory training, specifically for bilateral cochlear implant users

Project 12UK – Imperial College London (UK)
Explore the transferability of spatial hearing skills from virtual reality to real life


The loss of inner hair cells in the cochlea causes deafness. Since the first trial of a cochlear implant in 1957, cochlear implants have been developed to the point where they can (re-)restore hearing and speech understanding in a large proportion of patients.

Although spatial hearing is central to controlling and directing attention and to enabling speech understanding in noisy environments it has been largely neglected. In current implants, matching of binaural information, a basic prerequisite for spatial hearing, is not yet implemented.

Furthermore, intensive rehabilitation programs are lacking. The here proposed interdisciplinary doctoral network in which physicians, psychologists and engineers collaborate, aims at the improvement of spatial hearing in cochlear implant users. In ten different interconnected projects spatial hearing will be improved by training programs that make use of virtual environments.

Our objectives

Our proposed Doctoral Network (DN) “CherISH” – Cochlear Implants and Spatial Hearing –

aims to improve the restoration of hearing through the combination of next generation’s cochlear implants (CI) with innovative rehabilitation approaches after CI-implantation. The project investigates and develops new tools and technologies in combination with digital solutions to preserve hearing throughout life. With the added focus on personalised therapy approaches, the initiative fits perfectly into the EU’s research policy.