Ludovic Bellier: laureate of a 2015 Fondation Pour l’Audition Research Fellowship
Project : How does the brain perceive speech?
We hear with our brains as well as our ears. Of course, ears plan a crucial role in hearing, by enabling sounds to enter the brain. But just as people can have perfect sight and yet be unable to read, healthy ears do not ensure we can understand speech. To understand language, the brain must extract speech-related information from the continuous flow of sounds delivered by the ears.
To explain this phenomenon, Dr. Ludovic Bellier will record brain activity as people listen to speech, thanks to high-density electrocorticography (ECoG), a state-of-the-art neuroimaging technique used on patients with neurological disorders. ECoG records brain activity with the help of electrodes. Of unparalleled spatial and temporal precision, this approach will provide an understanding of how speech is processed by the brain.
These investigations could radically change the care provided to people with hearing loss by leading to the development of new hearing implants for improved speech perception. They could also have implications for patients with aphasia or other neurological language disorders.