ENS, Salle Dussane, 45 rue d'Ulm, 75005 Paris
We are activating the deafened auditory pathway with a penetrating auditory nerve electrode array. Our original motivation was to improve restoration of hearing for deaf people. Indeed, our short-term animal experiments show that this ‘intraneural’ stimulation is superior to results with a conventional cochlear implant by every measure that we have tested in anesthetized cats. We also made an unexpected observation that has both clinical and basic science relevance. That is, intraneural stimulation of low-frequency fibers from the cochlear apex reveals that low-frequency brainstem pathways are specialized for transmission of fine temporal information. I will present these results and will report on our progress in translating intraneural stimulation to an enhanced cochlear implant.