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Integration of acoustic and electrical hearing

Christopher Turner, PhD, et al.

Figure. Iowa/Nucleus Hybrid cochlear implant.

Hearing aids cannot satisfactorily improve speech recognition for some individuals with severe high-frequency hearing loss; however, these individuals may retain too much residual hearing to qualify as candidates for a cochlear implant. Studying results from the Iowa/Nucleus Hybrid cochlear implant, which is designed to preserve patients' residual low-frequency hearing while supplementing high-frequency hearing, we found that it improved subjects' speech recognition in competing backgrounds and demonstrated their ability to integrate acoustic and electrical hearing, even under conditions of severe distortion to normal cochlear place-frequency mapping. This apparent plasticity of the auditory system may lead to some new developments for improved cochlear implants in the future.



Volume 45 Number 5, 2008
   Pages 769 — 778


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