Dr Jacques Grange
My primary interest is in finding new ways to help the hearing impaired better understand speech in the most challenging situations, i.e. when noise and reverberation conspire to make speech almost unintelligible. Every little helps, every dB of improvement in speech reception threshold counts. A collection of small benefits can indeed make the difference between a unilaterally deaf person, a hearing aid user or a cochlear implant user being totally isolated or happily involved in face-to-face conversations in typically noisy social settings.
One approach is to help the hearing impaired make the best of the hearing they have, in combination with a given acoustic scene (e.g. my PhD). Another is to examine how sound coding could be improved so as to more faithfully transduce acoustical signals into the brain (e.g. my Postdoc).
Other than teaching engineering in the context of continuing education and throughout my previous 20-year carrier as a micro-technologist, for the Cardiff School of Psychology I took part in the teaching of statistics and helped with practicals, where compatible with my previous or more recent experience.
I also supervise three students a year for their final-year projects.
1985~1988 Engineering Degree (1st 3 years) from INSA-Lyon, France.
- 1988-1990: Engineering Degree (to Masters level, additional 2 years) from INSA Lyon, France.
Generalist training. Specialised in Material Physics and further specialised in Materials for Micro-electronics. 5th year (89/90) as an exchange student at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden.
- 1990-1991: Higher degree (DEA, M-Phil equivalent) in Integrated Electronics Devices, INSA Lyon, France.
- 1992~1994 PhD (1st 18 months) in Surface Physics, Physics & Astronomy Dept., UWCC, Cardiff, UK.
- 2011~2014 PhD in the Psychology of Auditory Perception, Psychology Dept., Cardiff University, UK.
- 1994~2010: Surface Technology Systems Plc, various technology/managerial positions in Process, Engineering and R&D. Specialist in Plasma-enhanced etch tool and process development for micro-device manufacturing.
- 2001: Wavesplitter Technologies Inc., Senior Process Engineer, PLC production line developer.
- 2015~2018 Research Associate, Cardiff University, Psychology Dept.
Research topics and related papers
My PhD research was focused on helping cochlear implant (CI) users deal with the detrimental effects of reverberation and noise in social settings (a restaurant, for instance) and optimise their intelligibility of speech. By “Realising the head-shadow benefit to cochlear implant users”, John Culling and I aimed to establish how, by a modest head orientation away from a speaker that does not impede lip-reading, people who struggle in noisy environments can significantly improve their intelligibility of speech and be involved in conversations rather than be socially isolated. The next step is dissemination of our findings to not only directly inform CI users, but also dispel the erroneous believes typically held by professionals (audiologists, teachers of the deaf, speech therapists…), and as a result by many CI users, that facing the speech is critical to optimum lip-reading or to an optimum use of sound pick-up directionality. Not only is a side-along look at the speaker compatible with lip-reading at a normal level, CI directional features are also not so directional that the head-orientation benefit (3 to 5 dB) cannot be exploited.
- Culling et al. (2012) Ear and Hear. 33, 673–682.
- Duda, R. O. & Martens, W. L. (1998). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 104, 3048-3058
- Grange, J. A. & Culling, J. F.
- Hawley, M. L., Litovsky, R. Y. & Culling J. F. (2004). J. Acoust. So c. Am. 115, 833-843.
- Hirsh, I. (1950). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 22, 801-804.
- van Hoesel, R. J. M. (2007). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 121, 2192-2206
- van Hoesel, R. J. M. & Tyler, R. S. (2003). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 113, 1617-1630.
- Jelfs, S., Culling, J. F. & Lavandier, M. (2011). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 275, 96-104.
- Kock, W. (1950). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 22, 801-804.
- Lavandier, M. & Culling, J. F. (2010). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 127, 387-399.
- Loizou, P. C., et al. (2009). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 125, 372-383.
- Lovett, R. E. S. et al. (2010). Arch. Dis. Child. 95, 107-112.
- Muller, J., Schon, F., and Helms, J. (2002). Ear Hear. 23, 198–206.
- NICE (2009) TA166 Cochlear implants for children and adults with severe to profound deafness.
- Rayleigh, Lord. (1904) Phil. Trans. 203, 149-165.
- Schleich, P., Nopp, P., and D’Haese, P. (2004). Ear Hear. 25, 197–204
- Tyler, R. S., et al. (2002). Ear Hear. 23, 80S–89S
In my postdoctoral Research Associate role, I am focusing on determining how valuable to bilateral CI users a specific sound coding strategy could be. The excitation of nerve cells in the cochlea by a CI array of electrodes is electrical in nature. The spread of the electrical field generated by an electrode pulse causes, beyond the excitation of the target nerve cells, the spread of current to neighbouring regions of the spiral ganglia. This current spread to regions sensitive to different sound frequencies causes mixing of the spectral information provided by neighbouring electrodes. This results in only 8 out of typically 20 electrodes being effective at transducing sound without spectral cross-over.
Beyond that, no increase in number of active electrodes, in other words no increase in spectral resolution is beneficial to speech intelligibility. Our first aim is to establish how best to simulate the effects of CI current spread in normally hearing (NH) listeners. With the spread that matches NH simulation data to CI user data, we will then explore the spectral interlacing/zipping strategy that consists in exciting only half of the electrodes in each cochlea and providing only every other spectral channel to one year (odd numbers) and the rest of the channels (even numbers) to the other ear. This could limit the potentially detrimental effect of spread at high spectral resolution and still provide the full spectral information over the two ears. We will need to account for adaptation/perceptual learning in our simulations, the timescale for which is yet unclear. Once successfully demonstrated in simulations, clinical trials on selected bilateral CI users will take place in Southampton University, all going well.
- Bingabr et al. (2008). Hear. Res., 241, 73–79.
- Culling and Swan (2013) BCIG conference, Turnberry.
- Culling et al. (2012) Ear and Hear. 33, 673–682.
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- Kulkarni et al. (2012) Int. J. Audiol. 51, 334-344.
- Labak and Majdak (2008). Proc. Natl .Acad. Sci . USA 105, 814–817, 2008.
- Loizou et al. (2003). J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 114, 475–483.
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- Siciliano at al. (2010). J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 127, 1645–60.
- Tyler et al. (2010). J. Am. Acad. Audiol. 21, 52-65.
- van Besouw et al. (2013). J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 134, 1348–1357.
- PhD funded by Action on Hearing Loss (UK)
- Postdoc funded by the Oticon Foundation (Denmark)
- Cognitive Science
- Perception and Action - Hearing
- John Culling (Cardiff PSYCH Professor, my Supervisor)
- Steven Backhouse (Bridgend Princess of Wales Hospital, ENT surgeon)
- Sarah Hughes (Bridgend Princess of Wales Hospital, audiologist & PhD student)
- Barry Bardsley (Cardiff PSYCH PhD student, Swansea Audiology Lecturer)
- Rob McLeod (Cardiff PSYCH PhD Student, ENT Surgeon)