Hamish is an Australian hearing scientist currently based at the Bionics Institute in Melbourne. He held a Marie-Curie Pegasus Fellowship from the FWO and is currently an NHMRC Early-Career Research Fellow. His research is focused on the development of objective, EEG-based measures of hearing ‘acuity.’ This is important because recent research has indicated that relatively low levels of sound exposure can cause neural damage that may result in speech understanding problems, even when sensitivity to sound is not reduced. We are developing tests that can detect this type of damage early, so that individuals can make objectively-informed decisions about their work or lifestyle before their hearing is damaged further.
Hamish has a life-long interest in sensory aspects of sound, vision, and communication. At the Bionics Institute he is using brainwave recordings and perceptual tests to understand and improve the way that sounds are interpreted by people with hearing loss. Perceiving sounds properly is crucial for communication and function in complex social, education, and work environments.
Hamish has a double bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Cognitive Science (hons) from the University of Western Australia, and a PhD in neuroscience from Swinburne University. From March 2015 to March 2016 he is undertaking a research Fellowship at KU Leuven in Belgium. His research interests include:
1. The development of EEG-based objective measures of hearing. These can be used to detect and diagnose hearing problems in infants, improve the fitting of cochlear implants and hearing aids, and also have uses in e-heath for remote fitting of hearing devices.
2. Understanding the variability in outcomes between people who gain a great deal of benefit from their hearing devices, and the many people who gain little to no benefit.
3. Improving the enjoyment that cochlear implant recipients get from listening to music through their hearing device.
4. Understanding how visual information might help people with hearing loss better perceive speech or enjoy music.