Cochlear implant: perspectives
AuthorClark, Graeme M.
Source TitleProceedings of the 4th Asia-Oceania Congress of the Oto-Rhino-Laryngological Societies
University of Melbourne Author/sClark, Graeme
Document TypeConference Item
CitationsClark, G. M. (1979). Cochlear implant: perspectives. In Proceedings of the 4th Asia-Oceania Congress of the Oto-Rhino-Laryngological Societies.
Access StatusOpen Access
Volta, who discovered the electrolytic cell, was the first person to stimulate the auditory system electrically. He connected a battery to two metal rods which were inserted into his ears, and he received "une secousse dans 1a t�te". In spite of his experience, interest in stimulating the auditory system electrically as a cure for profound hearing loss has persisted, and a number of attempts have been made as electronic developments have occurred. Following the introduction of the thermionic valve more precise studies of the effects of rate and intensity were possible. Then direct stimulation of the auditory nerve at surgery, to determine parameters of electrical stimulation, were carried out. These were followed by a few long term patient implantations in which the wires were connected directly to the outside through the skin. As this carries a high risk of infection, long term single electrode studies were also performed in which the stimuli were transmitted by inductive coupling to a coil buried beneath the skin. During this period developments in electronics and computers also led to acute and behavioural studies on animals to learn more about the physiology of hearing and the effects of electrical stimulation. All the results indicate that a multiple-electrode system offers the best chance of providing speech for a patient. A multiple-electrode system requires the implantation of a much more complicated electronic device which can now be miniaturized to an appropriate size.
Keywordsotolaryngology; cochlear implant
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