In the late 1980-ies technical development of hearing aids started to expand, fist with programmable instruments followed by the introduction of digital signal processing, where our group with PhD-students Thomas Lunner and Johan Hellgren was actively involved in the first commercially available digital hearing aid, Oticon DigiFocus, presented in September 1995.
In the further work on hearing aids, technology gradually merged with behavioral science by research on the importance of cognitive capacity of the user with regard to the benefit of hearing aids.
Our collaboration with cognitive psychology through prof. Jerker Rönnberg and prof. Björn Lyxell and their co-workers at IBV, LiU, has led to the establishment of a research field of its own, Cognitive Hearing Science. This field, in its turn, is very much in focus in the large-scale research programme Linneaus Centre HEAD – Hearing And Deafness, funded by the Swedish Research Council for a 10-year period.
Prevention of hearing impairmentSince my retirement from active work I have mainly focused on preventive aspects with regard to noise-induced hearing loss.
I chaired a working group tasked by the Swedish Work Environment Authority with focus on the risk for occupational hearing impairment among professional musicians. The report, in Swedish, is available here
The Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare asked me to assess the scientific evidence with regard to risks for hearing impairment among the audience at public concerts. My conclusion from that project was to suggest a reduction of the recommended maximum sound pressure levels at concerts. The report, in Swedish, is available here
Another assignment from the Swedish Work Environment Authority concerned a literature review of the risks of occupational hearing impairment caused by noise and other environmental factors. The report, in Swedish, is available here