A research cochlear implant attached to an oscilloscope. This setup is used to study and validate the electrical stimulation provided by the implant
The cochlear implant is an electrical device that was pioneered, developed and refined by Australian researchers and clinicians during the past 40 years. This research project aims to contribute to and build on this foundation of Australian research and innovation excellence, that has led to real social impact on a global scale, with over 600,000 people filled with cochlear implants. By electrically stimulating the hearing nerves, the cochlear implant restores a sense of hearing for the profoundly deaf, thereby enabling smoother day-to-day verbal interactions. While many cochlear implant users receive immediate and significant quality of life improvement, some users with patches of hearing nerves with poor survival receive reduced benefits. This research aims to investigate and address these patient-specific “neural dead regions” by combining state-of-the-art computational models and clever sound processing. Ultimately, this research will level the playing field among cochlear implant users and enable more recipients to listen with confidence and enjoy everyday activities.