• Short Summary

    Researchers at Bristol University in England have used a new electronic technique to allow a deaf girl to hear again. "Helen" suddenly went deaf two years ago after a "stirrup"-shaped bone inside her ear became faulty.

  • Description

    Researchers at Bristol University in England have used a new electronic technique to allow a deaf girl to hear again. "Helen" suddenly went deaf two years ago after a "stirrup"-shaped bone inside her ear became faulty.

    Professor Richard Gregory, at the university, started work with her by talking to her through a microphone and headphones. But the amplification of the sound, made the high peaks in the noise pattern unbearably loud.

    Even by "clipping" these unwanted peaks, by electronics, Helen was still unable to hear properly, because the sound was distorted.

    The distortions could not be filtered out because they were the same frequency as the sound needed for listening.

    By using a new technique, the frequency of the sound was increased, leaving only those distortions, which were out of range of human hearing, which could be filtered out.

    now Helen can hear properly again thanks to a special hearing aid which has been designed using the new technique.

    This film is serviced with speech from Professor Gregory. A transcript follows.

    SYNOPSIS: Great George Bell rings in Bristol, and everyone hears it except Helen. Two years ago her world suddenly spun like a top, she lost her balance, and plunged into a world of silence ...

    Now one ear can just hear with difficulty, and the other not at all. A sound wave entering Helen's ear announces its arrival, by vibrating her eardrum ...

    These vibrations travel along tiny linkages of bone and cartilage. Just an in the ear of a person with normal hearing, the spiral converts the vibration into electrical messages Helen's brain can understand. But here something has gone wrong. That tiny stirrup-shaped bone must be vibrated a million times harder if she is to hear clearly. There is a way of talking to her, but that pained expression poses a real problem for deaf people.

    A graph of the sound created by saying "hello" shows high energy peaks. All the information contained in the sound is in the middle ... that's the part she must hear.

    But if that is amplified those useless peaks grow so high they hit her pain threshold.

    Professor Richard Gregory at the University of Bristol tried an electronic process to clip off the unwanted high peaks. But Helen did not react at first, she still couldn't hear.

    By clipping the peaks, the sound was distorted. But by using a recent electronics advance, the voice was put into a higher frequency and the distortions could be filtered out.

    By using the new method, the results were quite dramatic. Now Helen can once again hear the clock bell ringing.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVACCE88XCNAEBVO8F1ZQ5CXDW4C
    Media URN:
    VLVACCE88XCNAEBVO8F1ZQ5CXDW4C
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    22/03/1976
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:02:37:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

Comments (0)

We always welcome comments and more information about our films.
All posts are reactively checked. Libellous and abusive comments are forbidden.

Add your comment