News & Events
October 2, 2014
Closing the Gap Between Cochlear Implants and Natural Hearing

Recent article by Carl Sherman for the Dana Foundation discussed ways in which researchers are working to make the experience of hearing with cochlear implants closer to the experience of natural hearing

One line of research discussed in the article is the effort to improve sensitivity of hearing in CI recipients by closing the “neural gap” which can occur between the electrodes of the CI and the nerves they are mean to stimulate.

The implant has a processor that divides sound into frequency channels and distributes them among 22 electrodes at most. But the loss of precision just begins there. When hair cells die or fail to develop, nearby auditory nerve fibers atrophy, creating a wide “neural gap” between the electrodes and the nerves they are to stimulate.