The Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development (JRRD), a well-established and respected peer-reviewed journal sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs, has released an issue focusing on cochlear implants, as follows:
- In Memoriam: Dr. Margaret (Margo) Skinner
- Cochlear prostheses: L’enfant terrible of auditory rehabilitiation
- Cochlear implants and hearing aids: Some personal and professional reflections
- Personal reflections on the multichannel cochlear implant and a view of the future. This technical article is a personal account of the author’s role in the development of cochlear prostheses and his perceived future directions of the field.
- Cochlear implants: Current designs and future possibilities. This article provides an overview of contemporary cochlear implants from a designer’s perspective. Anatomical and perceptual issues are discussed, as well as modern signal-processing strategies and how these strategies affect the perception of sound and speech.
- Considerations for design of future cochlear implant electrode arrays: Electrode array stiffness, size, and depth of insertion.This study measured the mechanical properties of eight clinical and prototype cochlear implant arrays and evaluated their associated insertion trauma and insertion depth. Results of the study show that the size and shape of the array directly affect the incidence of observed trauma. Electrode arrays with overall dimensions that exceeded the volume of the scala tympani were associated with a high rate of trauma even when the surgeon was careful to stop the insertion at the first sense of resistance. Electrode designs with greater stiffness in the vertical plane generally were found to be less likely to produce damage than electrodes that lack this feature.
- Restoring hearing symmetry with two cochlear implants or one cochlear implant and a contralateral hearing aid. This article discusses the effects of symmetrical and asymmetrical hearing loss on the auditory system. Selected studies illustrate the improvements in speech recognition, localization, and functional everyday communication experienced by individuals who use bimodal stimulation. A case study that demonstrates the benefit of bimodal hearing (ie, a cochlear implant in one ear and a hearing aid in the other) in a nontraditional cochlear implant candidate with asymmetrical hearing thresholds is also discussed. Study results indicate that bilateral stimulation of the auditory system through a cochlear implant and contralateral hearing aid or two cochlear implants is beneficial and should become standard clinical practice.
- Integration of acoustic and electrical hearing. This article characterizes the results of two experiments on the performance of the Iowa/Nucleus Hybrid cochlear implant. The first experiment measured the ability of Iowa/Nucleus Hybrid listeners to recognize speech in background noise. The second experiment evaluated the possible effects of assigning “shifted-from-normal” speech frequencies to the electrodes of the Iowa/Nucleus Hybrid implant. The experimental results suggest that combining low-frequency residual acoustic hearing with electrical stimulation for high frequencies, as in the Iowa/Nucleus Hybrid implant, has some advantages that appear to combine the best of acoustic and electrical hearing.
- Music perception in cochlear implant users and its relationship with psychophysical capabilities. This article describes issues concerning music perception with cochlear implants, discusses why music perception is usually poor in cochlear implant users, reviews relevant data, and describes approaches for improving music perception with cochlear implants.