Cochlear implants: some likely next steps.
The history of cochlear implants is marked by large improvements in performance, especially over the past two decades and especially due to the development of ever-better processing strategies. Although the progress to date has been substantial, present devices still do not restore normal speech reception, even for top performers and particularly for listening to speech in competition with noise or other talkers. In addition, a wide range of outcomes persists, with some patients receiving little benefit using the same devices that support high levels of speech reception for others. The purpose of this review is to describe some likely possibilities for further improvement, including (a) combined electric and acoustic stimulation of the auditory system for patients with significant residual hearing, (b) use of bilateral implants, (c) a closer replication with implants of the processing steps in the normal cochlea, and (d) applications of knowledge about factors that are correlated with outcomes to help patients presently at the low end of the performance scale.
Wilson, BS; Lawson, DT; Muller, JM; Tyler, RS; Kiefer, J
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