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Acoustic simulation of cochlear implants in reverberation - Essay Example

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The cochlear implant is a minute electronic device that aids a profoundly deaf person or a person with hearing difficulties to sense a sound signal. This implant is also referred to as the bionic ear.The device works by stimulating the auditory nerves located inside the cochlea with an electric pulse…
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Acoustic simulation of cochlear implants in reverberation
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Download file to see previous pages The cochlear implant is a minute electronic device that aids a profoundly deaf person or a person with hearing difficulties to sense a sound signal. This implant is also referred to as the bionic ear.The device works by stimulating the auditory nerves located inside the cochlea with an electric pulse. The implant consists of two portions. One part of the device sits behind the human ear while the second part is implanted under the skin. The device does not amplify the sound but stimulates any working auditory nerves (NIDCD, 2007).Alesandro Volta who developed the battery, placed metal rods and when he connected them to a 50 volts circuit he experienced a jolting noise, later French- Algerian surgeons, Andr Djourno and Eyries reported that a patient would hear sounds when electrodes were placed on the patient nerves exposed during an operation. In 1957 both French surgeons developed a clinical cochlear implant. This device was inefficient and only provided the patient with the rhythm. In 1961, William house and Doyle James developed a five wire device. This device used five electrodes each applied with the same single signal. The speech signal was modulated to travel at 16 KHz. The device was implanted and functioned better than the French surgeon's equipment. In 1984 the device was approved by food and drug administration (FAD) in the USA. In 1964 some patients were implanted with six channel devices but the recipients did not understand the speeches, the equipment was developed by Blair Simons of Stanford University. Parallel developments of the same device were being conducted at the University of California, the group comprising of Robin Michelson and Michael Merzenich made major medical implants. In 1976 Pialoux, Chouard and McLeod tested an implant device that enabled patients to hear and perceive at least half of the spoken words. In the 1990, miniaturization of the cochlear device dominated the device research. By the year, 2006 most children were implanted with miniature devices that were put behind the ear. On October 2005, 3 people were implanted with Tiki device; this device did not have external components. This device is however not commercially available. Developments have also focused on providing devices that can be implanted on both ears. These devices aid in hearing in a noisy environment. Current development enables the device to be fitted on babies five months old (Deafblind, 2008).

Components of the cochlear implant;
The device has to major components; the external part and the internal part
External part
(A) Microphone.
This device picks the sound from the external environment. Sound waves vibrate a membrane that converts the mechanical energy to electric pluses. (Desloge, et al 1997).
(B) Speech processor
This device comprises of filters that process the signals detected by filtering off the noise giving priority to the audible sounds. The filtered audible signals are then sent to the transmitter.
(C) Transmitter
The processed signals from the speech processors are received by the transmitter. The transmitter comprises of a coil held by a magnet placed behind the ear. The purpose of the transmitter is to transmit signals by electromagnetic induction to an internal receiver.
Internal parts
These parts are implanted inside the skin.
(A) receiver/stimulator
This device receives the signals from the transmitter and converts them to electric pulses. The pulses are then transmitted to the electrodes using cables implanted internally. The receiver is placed in the bone below the skin.
(B) The electrodes
This comprises of 22 electrodes that are wound round the cochlea, they send the impulses to the nerves in scala tympani. The signals are then ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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