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Volume 45 Number 5, 2008
   Pages 769 — 778

Abstract - Integration of acoustic and electrical hearing

Christopher Turner, PhD;1-2* Bruce J. Gantz, MD;2 Lina Reiss, PhD1

Departments of 1Speech Pathology and Audiology and 2Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

Abstract — For some individuals with severe high-frequency hearing loss, hearing aids cannot provide a satisfactory improvement in speech recognition. However, these same patients often have too much residual hearing to qualify as candidates for a cochlear implant. Here we describe results with the Iowa/Nucleus Hybrid cochlear implant, which is designed to preserve the patient's residual low-frequency hearing while at the same time supplementing their high-frequency hearing through electrical stimulation. The advantages of this approach are presented, including improved speech recognition in competing backgrounds as compared with traditional cochlear implants. The results with the Iowa/Nucleus Hybrid device demonstrate the ability of the auditory system to integrate acoustic and electrical stimulation, even under conditions of severe distortions to the normal cochlear place-frequency mapping.

Key words: cochlear implant, combined acoustic and electrical hearing, frequency selectivity, hearing aid, hearing loss, high-frequency hearing loss, rehabilitation, residual hearing, sensorineural hearing loss, speech recognition.

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