Talk:Cochlear implant

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ACG Acronym undefined[edit]

Final paragraph of the history section uses the acronym AGC's but nowhere in the article is it explained what it stands for. Matthew Rollings (talk) 20:32, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

Why does it process sound?[edit]

Why should the cohlear implant need a system for processing speech or other sounds? If it's converting the sound waves into impulses for the auditory nerves then wouldn't the brain itself do all the processing? I thought the reason it's called a cochlear implant is that it's a replacement for the cochlea. The cochlea doesn't analyze sound; it simply translates sound waves into electrical waves. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:37, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

The cochlea doesn't merely "translate sound waves into electrical waves". (I'm not even sure what an "electrical wave" is.)
Please go read the Functionality section again, lest folks think you're merely spreading FUD about CI's.
First off, the cochlear implant doesn't replace the cochlea. It really mostly replaces damaged or missing hair cells within the cochlea. If the cochlea is missing or damaged to a certain degree, a CI will be far less effective.
Now, the trick behind how the cochlea works is the way it separates sound waves of different frequencies using tonotopic organization. In other words, different pitches of sound end up resonating in different parts of the cochlea. The implant accomplishes this by using many small electrodes placed along a strip of plastic down the length of the cochlea. In either case, nerves at different places in the cochlea get stimulated differently, and thus we discern one sound from another.
Therefore, the speech processor's primary task is to generate electrical signals that make sense to the auditory nerves within the cochlea. A vital part of this is to break the sound into different "chunks" based on their frequency. If you've ever played with an equalizer on a stereo set, this is pretty much the same concept. Think of each knob on the equalizer as responsible for the signal that stimulates a specific part of the cochlea.
The equalizer analogy goes a bit further. Say you have set all the knobs on an equalizer to precisely the way you like it, but to your friend it sounds terrible. This is because each of us have different ears, different cochleae, different neural pathways, etc. In order to get maximum efficiency from a speech processor, you need to program it differently for each person. (This is a gross oversimplification, naturally, but significantly more on the mark than the comment I'm responding to.)
There's much more that a processor can do to the signal before it hits the implant, of course. You can selectively amplify at frequencies common to voice and thus eliminate a lot of non-speech "noise", for example. Also, differences in each electrode's timing, strength, and various other attributes can provide different aural experiences for the recipient.
Plus, some of them come with little flashing lights, which anyone with even half a heart has to admit is pretty freaking awesome.
Sproaticus (talk) 20:08, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Article should be tagged not NPOV[edit]

  • This article requires some serious editing*. It reads like it was written by a deaf person who thinks that Cochlear implants are some kind of abomination. Half of the introduction is dedicated to how evil it is to the deaf culture, how it is vigorously opposed by the deaf community (is it?), how it harms the deaf community, etc.... The same ramblings are reiterated, sometimes word for word, in the middle of the article (ethical issues section). Scare tactics are used throughout the article, describing various dangers and illness caused by the device - these belong to the *risks* section only, and have no place in ethics section or post-implantation section. 01:14, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
  • I agree, it's been heavily edited in recent weeks by the looks of things. 22:14, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Agreed. The ethical issues are important, but should be restricted to the Ethical Issues section. The current articles spends most of the introductory section discussing the ethical issues, which is inappropriae.Goweftus 13:17, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
  • I do also agree. The ethical discussion in the introductory section should be moved to "Ethical issues". --Svensta 07:26, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
  • The ethical section is grossly out of proportion with the rest of the article. There should be made a reference to the fact that some see ethical issues with the CI, a brief outline of the main reasons - not an argument trying to convince readers - and a link to external sources, and that's it. The rest of the piece could do with an edit as well. Plus greater attribution to Professor Graeme Clark for the development of the first publically available model. Tczuel (talk) 05:05, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
  • I have a profound hearing impairment and going in for my cochlear implant in about two days from now. After reading over the "ethical argument," I was bothered and didn't appreciate the fact that this was there. I feel very strongly about the fact that the deaf community/culture is a sham and an excuse to exclude people out of their group. However, because this is my personal opinion, I will not state this in the actual article itself but I would recommend removing the "ethical issue" part of the article. Where can I do this? Yoryx 08:32, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
Judging by all the the improvements hat have been made since December, is this article still needing the NPOV tag?
Lot49a (talk) 05:33, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

If someone could take the ethical arguments and put them in a debate section, that would be good. If the section is totally removed you would be discriminating against the Deaf point of view. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Pilipinoman (talkcontribs) 00:39, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

  • This was six years ago and I presume the article is much better now. Right? — Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 21:06, 8 April 2014 (UTC)


We should mention that many deaf people consider the use of implants, particularly if the aim is to completely replace signing with speaking, as "normalization"; and as such are opposed to it. -- Tarquin 16:34 7 Jun 2003 (UTC)

To my fellow contributors: There are some serious, but inadequately described issues that should be addressed in this article's "Objections" sections. "Normalization" is not the core of the deaf community's objections. It is "technologies of normalization" and not "normalization" that are contentious. Still, there are several major positions to be considered of which the technologies of normalization are but a minor (though important) aspect of. The collision occurs on the level of the deaf view of "wellness" and how views of disability and pathology conflict with it. I'll be posting an update to the Objections section very soon. Ray Foster 00:59, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Free cochlear implants[edit]

There stands a citation is needed. I don't know how to add it, and am ready for bed, so I'll quickly give a link ;-)

In Belgium cochlear implants are provided for free by the government. The following link is in Dutch, and is about a parliamentary discussion concerning this. [1] On a personal note, I do not understand how a rich country can call itself "developed" if it's social system does not provide such basic help to it's citizens. --Spiri82 01:44, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

REF: "I do not understand how a rich country can call itself "developed" if its social system does not provide such basic help to its citizens."

Actually, Spiri82, I live in the United States and was born with high-frequency hearing loss and did receive a hearing aid ABSOLUTELY FREE OF CHARGE through the Dept. of Vocational Rehabilitative Services.

More to the point, I received the device back when I used to live in Mississippi, which is one of the relatively poorer states in the US.

Even more to the point, my hearing loss, while of course a personal source of frustration, is not necessarily debilitating (i.e. I can hear most people fine; it is only when talking to someone who mumbles or otherwise has a soft voice or perhaps when I am in an especially noisy environment that it becomes a problem.). Thus, it's not as if I was someone who desperately needed the device in order to function normally in society. But nonetheless, DVRS still helped me out -- even though my hearing problem wasn't necessarily terribly severe.

So in other words: Yes, we have government aid over here too, and you don't have to be all that extraordinary in order to receive it -- you just have to find out where to go to get it. If your hearing loss affects you on the job you can go to DVRS and they will help you.

At netherlands I have recieved free Cochlear implant.but I am not glad because my new hearing aids are not free and costs 875 euro. Edwtie (talk) 13:10, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

Origins & Availability[edit]

  • A NASA engineer, Adam Kissiah, also researched and developed cochlear implants beginning in the 1970s, but I am not sure how it connects to the Australian or British research. NASA has an article on it, so I added an external link to it but I did not add any content. I just don't know how it all relates. (talk) 14:48, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

As with all articles about technology, it would be nice to have some reference to who makes these things and where they came from/when they were developed. Someone should get right on that.

i've read somewhere else that the real person who developed the 'bionic ear' was professor graeme clark, an australian scientist. fact or fiction??????

  • This is not my area of expertise, but I agree that such information should be added to the article. The Bearded One 05:46, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
Regarding the early history of the development of cochlear implants, I have personal knowledge of Dr. William F. House's first successful implant and I suggest that the following be considered for greater accuracy in the article.
I was a hearing aid dealer in Van Nuys (San Fernando Valley, Ca.) and had frequent contact with him and his clinic. I first visited "The House Clinic" in 1950-1953 as the factory rep. for Radioear Corp. (employer of the famous Sam Lybarger(Engineer) who is much quoted in Audiology textbooks. Radioear was the first company to make a modular behind the ear aid that could also be removed to fit in an eyeglass aid. It was the first successful tele-coil for head-worn aids and also had frequency modulation capabilities, by the dispenser, as early as 1958.
At the time "The House Clinic" was famous for stapes-mobilization, stapedectomy and Williams brother, Howard, was teaching this at USC. In the late '60s, William was experimenting with a cochlear implant which he implanted on a local high school teacher who had a sudden total loss of hearing in both ears. When later I became "President of the Guild of Hearing Aid Dispensers", I invited him to show a movie that he made on the successful fitting of this man. It was shown in the main ballroom of the Queen Mary ship, in Long Beach CA, to a group of Otologists, Audiologists and members of our Guild. The same night Dr. Lawrence Chusid gave a report on "Acupuncture and the Reduction of Hearing Loss".
The cochlear implant surgery involved the placement of a magnetic transducer on the mastoid connected to a bundle of 15 very fine wires, of various lengths, which was inserted through the oval window with the longest wire near the top of the cochlea. The implanted receiver was activated by a 2"x3"x4" hearing aid that he worn on his chest. After the surgery the patient was given several days of auditory training with many two-syllable words. Two weeks later he was filmed repeating the some of the words, which were spoken from behind and successfully repeated 100% of the spoken 20 words. He continued taking single syllable word therapy and led a fairly normal life.
In 1963- 1971 I manufactured behind the ear hearing aids, under the name of Certified Instrument Corp. I also patented an electronic stethoscope/ variable reluctance transducer, granted in 1971.
In 1974 I accepted a position at Zenith Hearing Instrument Corp. as Technical Mtg. Director, until 1974.Don1929 (talk) 20:47, 3 April 2010 (UTC)Don1929

Here in Australia, Graeme Clark is taken to be the inventor of the cochlear implant. It was his research at Melbourne University that led directly to the establishment of Cochlear Limted, which makes what I believe is the market leading implant. I can't confirm the exact date of his first human implant, but it was around about the same time as the American device mentioned in the article.

Update - I believe the distinction is that Graeme Clark developed the multi-channel implant necessary to inerpret speech. The earlier single channel implant was unable to do this.

I agree that Graeme Clark deserves a great amount of credit and could be called the "inventor" of the multi-channel implant. I would suggest checking out his book ( He provides an excellent history in Chapter 1. You will find that he is more than willing to share the credit (and rightly so) with a number of different researchers around the world who provided essential contributions.--mcrema

I am in the UK and have just received a free implant under the National Health Service but have to stress that it took around 6 years from my original application. There is a waiting list and, although I am 76, provision does not depend upon age but on suitability but also the limited funds available to each health authority. It is therefore one more Postcode lottery. As my operation was undertaken in a different area from my Health Authority it took place in a private hospital (not the main hospital which normally undertakes the work) though the surgeon was the same one. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Suffolk Silver (talkcontribs) 17:07, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Updating the article[edit]

While on the whole this page is good and getting better, there are some errors that need to be amended with better and more recent information. First, it is no longer the case that cochlear implantation always destroys residual hearing. It is now fairly common for patients to experience little or no loss of residual hearing, due to better electrode arrays and better surgical techniques. This is a crucial aspect in the development of hybrid cochlear implants, where a short electrode array provides high frequencies and a hearing aid provides low ones. These devices are likely to come to market in the next year or two, and they'll be for people with moderate to severe high-frequency hearing losses: e.g. older people experiencing natural age-related and noise-related hearing loss.

That said, no surgeon can presently guarantee that residual hearing will be preserved with traditional cochlear implants, and patients do need to know that. Instead of saying "residual hearing is destroyed," a better phrasing would be "there is no guarantee that residual hearing will be preserved, although it often is."

The other main issue is that it's claimed that users are still "severely to profoundly hearing impaired" -- and the citations for this claim are 11 years old! It's still true that cochlear implants don't restore hearing to normal levels, and it's also true that results can vary widely between patients. However, in 2006 it would be more accurate to say that most users are "mildly to moderately hearing-impaired." As for myself, I can hear sounds down to 15dB in testing booths with my Clarion CII device, which corresponds to a mild hearing loss, and I use telephones frequently and easily.

The NIDCD's estimate of 59,000 users as of 2002 is now badly out of date, though I don't know of a more recent authoritative number. Cochlear Corporation alone has implanted 70,300 devices. Recent estimates of total implant users I've heard are around 100,000.

The claim that cochlear implants are "cultural genocide" was originally made in the National Association for the Deaf's position statement on cochlear implants in 1991. It was removed in an entirely rewritten version of the statement released in 2000.

Finally, the cost figures I hear most often for CI implantation are $40-$50,000, though the lower figures might be accurate outside of the USA.

With some digging through the literature, I could amend the article to make these updates.

I'm knowledgeable on this because (a) I'm an implant user, and (b) I've written a book on the subject.

-- Mike Chorost

Thanks for your thoughts Mike. Your experience and knowledge are really valuable and I look forward to your additions. Please be bold in updating pages! I hope you don't mind, but I moved your comments to the bottom of the talk page (following wikipedia convention), where people are more likely to see them. If you like, you can sign your comments with an automatic username and date and time stamp by typing four tildes like this: ~~~~. I've been around on wikipedia for a while so please don't hesitate to ask me any questions about how to do stuff like this. Cheers! ntennis 09:29, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
On his note, is there anybody here that would care to browse through other pages that refference cochlear implants and update their numbers?... I at very least have noticed that the Neuroprosthetics article, as well as the Brain-computer interface articles still feature old numbers (different sets of old numbers in this case). I'll likely change them by the time this is read, but I'm sure that there's further articles that refference old numbers if I'm able to stumble across 2 by accident. -Tiak 05:33, 16 October 2006 (UTC)


I have a problem with the following statement:

"While cochlear implants have been welcomed by late-deafened adults, hearing parents of deaf children, audiologists, speech pathologists, and surgeons, the implantation of deaf children has been vigorously opposed by many from the signing Deaf community."

In relation to deaf children, the views of their hearing parents, audiologists, speech pathologists, surgeons, and the signing Deaf community are secondary behind the views of those who were implanted as children. There are now plenty of young adults able to express their views. Some support the implanting of deaf children, others oppose it. If there is any research into these vital opinions, we should see it here. My guess is (and it is just a guess, so not worthy of inclusion) that most adults who were implanted as children are supportive of their parents' decision.

As it is, I come away with the feeling that the document is slightly POV against implanting children. --Mralph72 00:41, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

It is an important view but IMHO not the end all. The trouble is, you can never get a fair view. Children who have been implanted are not going to be part of the deaf community and so will have different views etc, largely influence by the views they were brought up around i.e. the hearing community. If you were to ask a person who didn't get implants, they will very likely have the opposite views of the person who did. The only way to get a proper picture would be if we duplicate the earth exactly, implant one version of a child and leave the other be and then somehow recombine these two people 20 years later (or whatever). Of course, this is not possible. For starters, the combined person will just be schizoprenic and probably commit suicide since he/she can't reconcile his/her different views. N.B. I actually support implanting and although I don't believe it should be compulsory. But it's important to understand a person with implants can only offer his/her POV which is not anymore an internal NPOV then others. Nil Einne 12:33, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

Another update needed in the Controversy section should address the growing number of deaf autistic children, and whether or not to use CI. As US birthrate of children in teh Autism Spectrum nears 1%, we see more and more deaf children in the spectrum. Many surgeons consider it too early to tell whether CI will help autistic children.

I'm confused as to how it will help autistic children who are not deaf. Are surgeons permanently destroying the cochlear with a highly inferior implant so that audio stimulus can simply be turned off instead of acclimatised to? What sort of monster would perform this surgery? As someone who is autistic and has learned to deal with audio stimulus, it is frightening that someone would be allowed to do this to me as a minor.-- (talk) 12:06, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Who said anything about putting implants in hearing autistic children? The question was whether the implants would see as much success among deaf autistic people as it has among non-autistic deaf people. Powers T 00:10, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

I do not feel that this section needs to be named "The Big Controversy", and have Been Bold and retitled it simply "Controversy". (talk) 00:08, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

This is really a deplorable 'crabs in a bucket' mentally. Deafness is a disability, there is no reasonable argument to say otherwise. I don't see why this viewpoint should even be validated with an acknowledgment here. BodvarBjarki (talk) 21:17, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

Maybe you don't like it, but it's an important cultural/political aspect of the CI topic, and so it should be included in any sufficiently encyclopaedic article on the subject. I haven't edited this article much so it's not my POV in the text but I know that it's a point of debate in the Deaf community where I live, and whether or not you're happy that the debate exists, it exists. --mcld (talk) 21:59, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

Yes, there is a controversy concerning the cochlear implant, but most of it involves something that should be the child's decision. It is the child's head you are drilling a hole into, so they should have a say, when they are old enough to understand. Now, this only works if you have the capability to raise a Deaf child. If one of my children is born Deaf, since I have the ability, the training, and the willingness, I will raise my child Deaf, until the age that I feel he or she is mature enough to understand the implications, physically and culturally, or the surgery. If he or she decides to not have the surgery, that is her decision. If my kid decides to have the surgery, I will set the surgery date. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:35, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

Delaying implants until after the language acquisition developmental window is denying the child the choice to be able to understand spoken speech well. Having the implant early, on the other hand, does not impede the ability to learn sign language, although having a better alternative than sign language that allows communicating with hundreds of times more people will likely decrease motivation compared to a child forced to use sign as their only means of communication. A child with an early implant can later choose to not use it or even have it removed (though it is telling how few do), while a child denied an early implant will never be able to go back in time to the developmental window where spoken language acquisition occurs. Therefore not implanting early is harmful to deaf children's capacities and denies them choice. Further, denying children the ability to hear cars, machinery, shouted warnings, police officers, dogs and so forth puts children at a much greater risk of serious injury. The opposition to early implants is short-sighted, illogical, politically petty and against the interests of deaf children.Enon (talk) 17:51, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

Ethical issues[edit]

"The older child goes for a "checkup" to tune up their map once or twice a year" -- Tune up their map? Someone please define this map thingy. I guess it's tuning the implant for equal perception of the spectrum of pitch and maybe some timbre adjustment, but I dunno. I'll leave that to an expert. Thanks!! Lemme know!!! --basilwhite 15:21, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

The map is term used for a graphical representation of the impedance at each electrode. The processor uses this map in a series of programs that determine the electrical impulses given off by each electrode to produce the appropriate signal. I do not believe that this topic is in the right section and should be moved from ethical. User:brickerhaus 18:01, 22 August 2009 (EST)

Citations needed[edit]


The problem with wording like "some of X" is that it's a bit weasely and can be used to introduce bias. Do the majority of developed countries do this? Or just a few? For example, Canada, well known for its socialized universal health care, does not provide implants for free, to my knowledge. And the U.S. certainly does not. So the North American trend, for what it's worth, is to not provide them. Perhaps the European or Asian developed model is to provide them, so this could be clarified (with cites) rather than just saying "some". Even if it's a lot of work for us, the articles we make must provide verifiability above all else. Here's one small source: [2] --Ds13 17:59, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

(...) Mralph72 09:11, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

As far as I know, and as a Canadian citizen from Québec, and as a guy married to a wife who received an implant on March 5, 2008, I confirm that cochlear implants are indeed provided for free in the Québec province. This is a fact. While I have no absolute proof of this, I surmise that the same is true for all provinces in Canada, in accordance with federal healthcare regulations.

The reference given above is very old (1993) and should be discounted as far as Canada is concerned. The CHUQ hospital in Québec city has a vast research program on cochlear implants headed by Dr. Ferron. The team of surgeons there does cochlear implants routinely every day. All costs are covered by the healthcare system.

Roger Gauthier, Québec, Canada Roger The Photographer (talk) 22:22, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

unfortunately it is not true at all that all provinces offer ci for free... i know that in ontario, a friend recently got two implants for her son, and they had to pay $7,000 out of the $17,000 cost for the hardware (the medical/surgical aspects are all covered under ohip). there is some coverage, but not total coverage. Mrs smartygirl (talk) 01:52, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

Update to Quebec/Ontario: ON now funds bilateral implantation; QC for the most part only funds unilateral ( — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:05, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

Children have died[edit]

This should not be added back until a citation is included:

In the worst cases, children have died as a result of the implants.[citation needed]

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Dblantau9001 (talkcontribs)

Medical Model[edit]

Say, someone is dying of illness which has an easy cure. It is up to the patient to chose the treatment. S/he can refuse the treatment and die if so wish. The idea that doctor got some personal vendetta against deaf community is entirely due to paranoia. The real conflict are between the deaf community and the hearing parents of deaf children. Vapour

Children have died (Cont.)[edit]

Apologies if I'm not using the correct wiki markup, but anyway...

This is correct, if you refer to the link. But I did a bit of looking and found the original source - (This is the same paper referred - if you look at the "Original Publication" and title, they match.) In that FDA paper, no deaths are mentioned.

NOW, I am NOT sure how independent the FDA is (I am aware that occasionally public orgs in USA are suspectible to lobbying and may have retracted statemeents) and I'm NOT sure why the "deaths" bit was removed. I did a bit of googling, and cannot find a more verifiable source (i.e. apparently deaths HAVE occured but no details).

Comments please? Thanks!


From a quick look I would say it's misleading to say children have died. The source appears to be saying they're appear to be at greater risk of developing bacterial meningitis and that is what we should say. Perhaps mention that bacterial meningitis is a rather nasty disease. Nil Einne 12:26, 24 November 2006 (UTC)
Specifically, the source says recipients MAY be at higher risk of developing meningitis.
Have taken the liberty of redirecting the FDA link & removing the "deaths" line in absence of any medical papers citing a direct link between CIs & deaths. Mrdini 19:13, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Bacterial meningitis is indeed nasty, and my three year old daughter lost all hearing because of it and we as parents, as well as the doctors, consider her very lucky that this is the only thing she lost. Because of the meningitis she received two implants directly after she got better and the surgeon informed us that one of the risks is, ironically in this case, meningitis. On a side note, CIs are covered in the basic health insurance in The Netherlands, and people who lose hearing due to meningitis are allowed a bilateral implantation and don't have to go through the lengthy selection procedure. Jeroen74 (talk) 16:26, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

May not be strictly true[edit]

On the other hand, the modern medical ethics/law dictate that it is up to the patient or the legal guardian of the patients to decide whether one have the implant or not. Therefore, political debate about whether deafness is a disability or not is irrelevant to the current medical profession. On the other hand, whether society treats deafness as a disability has direct bearing on government policy.

I feel this might be misleading. Many developed, progressive countries have various restrictions on what a parent may do. They may do anything which is considered resonably harmful to the child in the long run generraly they can't withhold essential treatment. For example look at Jehovah's Witnesses and blood transfusions. I would assume there are similar issues with HIV treatment. Obvioulsy issues raised with FGM also have some bearing. I'm not suggesting that cochlear implants are comparable, this is not for me to decide. I'm simply pointing out that in many societies, it's accepted by many that there should be limits on what a parent can and can't do and in some cases. In otherwords, the current standards are not that such issues are universally up to the guardian, it could be considered compulsary or it could be forbidden depending on your view of cochlear implants. N.B. I hope I haven't offended anyone. I actually believe at the current time it should be up to the parents. However I do feel the need to raise this issue because the reality is even tho some people like to deny it, restricting what a parent can and can't do is accepted in many countries. Nil Einne 12:20, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

This is not fact[edit]

(Though this expense is probably less than what a signing deaf individual costs society in terms of social services.)[citation needed]

That line is grossly untrue given that the majority of deaf individuals don't receive government services. I think it should be taken out completely due to its lack of citation. If someone can find a reliable citation, then put it back in.

Sweden is the only country that has legislation that when a deaf child is born to a hearing parent, they are, by law, consulted by the deaf community as well as the medical community so they can make an informed decision.

As a Swedish citizen and with recent personal experience of the subject, I'm quite sure this line is untrue. I've neither heard of such a law, nor of any "consulting by the deaf community". I think it should be taken out completely due to its lack of citation. If someone can find a reliable citation, then put it back in. --Svensta 12:30, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

I believe the Sweden thing was from Journey into DEAF-WORLD book. However, it has been a while since I've read that book. If anybody has the book and knows for sure, please do so and add in the removed statement. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:44, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

I have that book and its a very loose rendering of the section on Swedish DEAF-WORLD pp 185-187. There's no such law at all but the Swedish government recognizes the primacy of any family's language of origin, be it speech-based or manual. Any Deaf child born to hearing parents will receive a minimum of two days a week instruction in their "native" language which is SSL (talk) 11:38, 4 December 2012 (UTC)

I've added tags to the article[edit]

This article, in several sections, is trying to push an anti-implant POV. In addition, there is a significant amount of OR, especially in the Cultural and Social Impacts and the Ethical issues sections. Jtrainor (talk) 01:47, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

Cochlear implants as an evil device[edit]

People who think that Cochlear implants are evil are very small minority, as the vast majority of people see this as a great leap forward. Remember that Wikipedia does NOT need to equally represent the side of a case that doesnt have equal support in reality. For clarification on that rule, see the NPOV article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:53, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

What a mess[edit]

Boy, this article is a bit of a mess, isn't it? Look at the lede. Those (ostensible) facts about the Chinese implants (provider, follow up) are absurdly detailed for the intro. This needs an overall rework. I mean, it'll help someone who's never heard of the term and is just trying to figure out what it is, but this needs a lot. Unschool (talk) 20:52, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Ethical Issues section should include NAD's shifting stance[edit]

The National Association for the Deaf issued a statement in 1991 that they "deplored" the FDA's decision to authorize implantation in children below a certain age. A few years later, they issued a retraction (of sorts), with the statement's language toned down and more reasonable content added.

I believe that this event should be at least mentioned in the Ethical Issues section, probably in the next-to-last paragraph ("Opposition continues today but is softening"), to help illustrate the fact that the collective attitude of the Deaf community towards cochlear implants is neither static nor is it firmly antagonistic.

I wish I could find the text of the 1991 statement to cite. Please give us a link if you find one.

Sproaticus (talk) 20:29, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Testimonial from article[edit]

The following was added to article space, so I am moving it here:

I am s.Cartledge and i am a cochlear implant patient Aged:14 Born Profoundly deaf. I had my surgical operation when i was 2 and was officially switched on a month later. I had to go to the sheapered centre to learn how to hear. (help cochlear ear patients for kids) i con tinued to have lessons 3 days a week until i was 3.5 years old. So far i have 4 different modles and attend a normal school. without the cochlear i would of had a life in the dark. The cochlear for me and many other patients is a lifesaver! And i wuld like to thank proffessor Graham Clark who invented the implant.

- Eldereft (cont.) 11:29, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

State of the article[edit]

After making a few edits to clarify the writing in a few areas, I switched the template to put the stress on the need for complete inline referencing. In my view the article is fairly well balanced and informative but much more work is needed to improve clarity and referencing. Nesbit (talk) 19:36, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

Remove myth\misconceptions and other changes to make this more readable[edit]

I put the remove section tag on the myths and misconceptions because little or none of it actually seems to address actual myths or misconceptions (or at least have been addressed earlier in the article. Instead, it's mostly a continuation of the arguments from the ethics section above. I would say the two sections could be merged, but the ethics section is already far too long. In general, the entire article is much longer than it needs to be, and I feel that the position of the "Deaf community" is stated repetitively. For example, the statement: "because many in the deaf community believe that their deafness is a gift" is a repitition of earlier statements and is unnecessary. --Thud495 (talk) 15:28, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Remove this sentence[edit]

"Individuals who are deaf use sign language and an interpreter to communicate with those who use spoken languages, in the same way that an individual who only speaks English but wants to meet with an individual who only speaks French, would utilize an interpreter." I believe we should remove this sentence, it provides nothing to the overall structure or content of the page, just a reiteritive repetition. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:33, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

Programming the speech processor[edit]

i don't get the first line of the chart comparing hearing aids and ci. it says that with ci "All characters are understandable" and with hearing aids, "Only some characters"

does "characters" refer to sounds? speech sounds? frequencies? what? my understanding is that, for people who can use them, hearing aids offer a greater range of frequencies - up to 8000 hZ instead of 6000 hZ, and every frequency in between, rather 22 that have to be mapped. also, it's not terminology i have ever heard from an slp or audiologist - could whoever put it in there add some clarification? thanks Mrs smartygirl (talk) 02:05, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

Risk to Facial nerve[edit]

Why is there no mention of the risk of damage to the facial nerve? I have heard it is ~1% risk, that can range from a facial tic to complete sagging of the affected side of the face. Rush Limbaugh had a tic after his implant, but lost it after therapy.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 14:23, September 21, 2009

Perhaps because we don't have a reliable source for it? Tabercil (talk) 20:16, 25 October 2009 (UTC)


Under the header "Programming the speech processor", there 's a table, who I'll mark as {{POV-section}}. The comparison is incomplete with as effect that the outcome seems to be in advance of the cochlear implant.

  1. The different cost, approx. USD 60.000 for an implant in comparison to approx USD 500 to 1500 for hearing aids, is left out of the table.
  2. Hearing aids covers a range of hearing loses from approx. 30 dB up to 90/100 dB, while implants just start from hearing losses of 80/90 dB (70 dB in some exceptional cases)
  3. The side-effects of surgery, temporarily and permanent such as facial paralysis, necrosis, permanent lost of remaining hearing, and a death rate of approxmately one in 10.000 surgeries (at least 17 died on a total of 180.000 implants).
  4. "Understanding all characters" is not 100% right. Various research points that recnogise speech is not 100%, people with CI-implants cannot have a full phone-talk with an unknown person.

Please complete the table with all facts or remove it at all together with my {{POV-section}}, for neutrality of wikipedia in this sensitive case.

Differences between Cochlear implants and hearing aids
Cochlear implants Hearing aids
All characters are understandable Only some characters
Unlimited possibilities for signal coding Limited signal coding
Surgically implanted No surgery needed
3 batteries or charged battery 1 battery
Battery life: 1 to 3 days Battery life: 1 to 2 weeks
Success is individual and unpredictable Success is individual and unpredictable
Rechargable Non- rechargable

With kind regards, --Hxq (talk) 12:28, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

I agree with Hxq. There are also different kinds of hearing aids and CIs. For example, my rechargable batteries (i have a CI) only last 8 hours. And I do not like to use the phone at all, because most of the time, I have no idea what my friend is saying. Even a phone call with NO 'static' and has 'clearness' can be difficult to understand. Maybe the chart should be divided into different types of CIs Vs hearing aids or one type of CI against another. I feel it would be extremely difficult to put all kinds and models of CIs and hearing aids as comparison. After all, some people choose one model because of their condition, or the cost. I hope to not offend anyone, these were just my thoughts as a CI user for 10 years. Patatoskins56 (talk) 16:53, 9 December 2009 (UTC)Patatoskins56

Controversy removed from into[edit]

I'm unpersuaded that the controversy section sufficiently establishes the notability of an ongoing controversy of sufficient importance to have this in the introduction of the article. I've not touched the controversy section itself - just removed the gratuitous lines in the introduction.-- (talk) 15:28, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Indeed - it's a noisy but minor POV, perhaps warranting a section in the article (as it has) but certainly not the intro, having it there is just advocacy - David Gerard (talk) 15:30, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
In fact, even the text that's there reads more like an ad for Deaf culture advocates than anything that's to do with cochlear implants, and could really do with thinning down - David Gerard (talk) 15:32, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
First hack done, more probably needed, bits that shouldn't have been culled restored, etc - David Gerard (talk) 20:35, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree it carries a POV, and I introduced some material into the last paragraph to try and balance that POV. I'd ask if it's possible to try and reintroduce some of that material. Tabercil (talk) 13:59, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
Go for it, I freely confess I was hacking away :-) If you can, please make it more tightly-worded - the old version rambled a bit - David Gerard (talk) 18:12, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
I'll see what I can do. But the issue of cochlear implants is still very much a lightning rod among the deaf community and I do very much expect the POV issue to be ongoing. As a current case in point, take a look in the comments left on this article (especially the one by sordaelena): Tabercil (talk) 14:38, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

External sound source[edit]

Does anyone know if it is possible to use an external sound source with a Cochlear implant? Are there any external inputs so that one could plug in, say, an iPod or cell phone, using the earphone out port of the device? Or perhaps a means to connect to a Bluetooth audio device? In reading the Wikipedia articles I see no reference to this. --Ric Barline (talk) 17:02, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

The reason there's no mention of features such as these is because partly because they're relatively new, and also because they're kind of outside the focus of the article. It's about cochlear implants in general, not specific makes & models. But I do know that you can plug an iPod (or similar) into the current Advanced Bionics model, and Med-El has a model that has Bluetooth in it. You'd be advised to check with the specific manufacturer. Tabercil (talk) 01:01, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

Manualism vs. Oralism[edit]

The section about controversy in the deft culture implies that the arguments for and against are the same as those under lying the manualism vs. oralism debate. I am far too ignorant with regard to either this issue or that one to make any edits my self but there seems to be a distinction that is being missed. How language should be taught to children who cannot hear is different than weather or not action should be taken to provide children, or adults, with hearing. Prior to implant technology being available and for children whose parents have opted against it, the manualism vs. oralism debate is still relevant. For implanted children it seem that the more relevant issue is weather or not they should be taught to sign at all given the possibly that they may be able to communicate through speech and hearing and never need ASL. (talk) 03:49, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

american bias[edit]

the whole history part of the article talks about US contributions in detail, and then BAM mentions that the Australians developed it first and developed a superior product (by the US accepting it, another bias) and that's pretty much it —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:52, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Well we had someone dump in a lot of information in one chunk (see [ this diff} by someone who probably doing research in the 70s. If anything it's too much information in one lump and hasn't been properly integrated into the rest of this article even after all this time. Tabercil (talk) 13:49, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

Add diagram of cochlea[edit]

How about including a diagram of the cochlea? It helps to see the anatomy when trying to understand how the implant works. Mike Chelen (talk) 07:30, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

Umm, can anyone find out why he did this?[edit]

I have read the whole article through but nowhere can i find a section that explains why he actually invented it. cross-referencing has been conducted, but i still cant find it. if anyone has any info whatsoever (even wild speculations) could you please tell me or edit or both asap as i need this info immediately. mrmeh 23:32, 11 August 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jake happe (AKA mrmeh) (talkcontribs)

The third sentence is a problem.[edit]

Can someone please address the third sentence in: "Known by scientists chochlear implants are a huge help to deaf people." This is both grammatically dubious and not very scholarly/factual. Dr. Carey, D.D.S. (talk) 20:37, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done — Someone fixed it. The third sentence now reads: "In those patients, the implants often can enable sufficient hearing for better understanding of speech." — Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 20:59, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

CI Controversy Section only describes one side of the controversy[edit]

Hi, I'm very new to wikipedia editing, so please let me know if I am going about this incorrectly. I work with and know many deaf children and adults and I am very aware of the differing viewpoints on CIs.

What strikes me about this Controversy section is that it talks about the party line of the ASL Deaf Community in the US but does not address the other viewpoints, that is, the reasons why people choose to get CIs for children.

Parents who chose CIs for their young children are not all trying to erase their children's deafness. Many parents of deaf children get the CI for their kids despite agreeing with some of what the Deaf community has to say. (Indeed, there is a growing segment of the deaf population who are choosing to implant their deaf children.)

Some arguments in favor of the CI for young children are 1) increased safety. Deaf people don't ever mention this in their arguments, but hearing parents of deaf children often bring that up first. They say that one of their primary jobs as parents is to ensure the safety of their children; improving a child's hearing can help them hear footsteps behind them, sirens, trucks in reverse, etc. 2) Parents say that even though ASL is a language they value, spoken language is dominant in society. Though many deaf people are successful in the workplace, it is hard to deny that access to spoken language is a quality of life improvement.

I know I need to find references for these claims. I suppose that merely quoting individual parents I have spoken with will not suffice. Any advice/help is appreciated!

Cuelab (talk) 12:43, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

This entire article, despicably and desperately attempting to push the abusive POV of "deaf culture activists", needs a complete overhaul to remove the ridiculous complaints against cochlear implants solely in relation to "takin' 'way ma deafs cultures!". Not allowing a child, during the very time when it is logistically viable for them, to be able to hear solely based on the selfish and child abusive view that a parents culture should dictate a childs medical needs is no different than a Jehovas Witness refusing their child a life saving blood transfusion or an African traditionalist family refusing to get their child medical car for a severed foot because they don't want to "use the white mans technology".

It IS child abuse and this article needs to stop reading like a Anti-Vaccine website, filled with pointless little off shoot complaints that may or may not even have applied to one specific person out of millions desperately trying to paint an "evil" picture of cochlear implants as a whole to back their one personal complaint of "ma deafs cultures needs a protectins". The main issue seems to be an abundance of deaf users POV editing this article due to the lacking of widespread knowledge of their anti-Wikipedia policy edits by other users. I suggest you help us tell every other Wikipedia user to come help fix this article. (talk) 22:27, 2 January 2014 (UTC) Sutter Cane

Cybernetics category[edit]

Since a CI makes you a cyborg, should I add the article to Cybernetics and Bionics categories? I am a hearing person with possible (not proven) minor to moderate high frequency hearing loss. JJhashisreasons (talk) 02:37, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

  • It's going to happen. I will place the article in those categories. JJhashisreasons (talk) 16:33, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

"Single Channel" is a misnomer[edit]

Dear friends,

This is David House, son of Dr. William House. Forgive me for listing some things that pertain to my insight into this issue, but I previously ran a cochlear implant company (AllHear, sold to Envoy Medical in 2007), and have a patent in this area (USP 7266209, "Cochlear Implants with a Stimulus in the Human Ultrasonic Range and Method for Stimulating a Cochlea").

As part of the work of running the company, I made a presentation to the ENT section of the FDA, an experience similar to having a tax audit while naked, and raised this issue with that group, consisting of 50 or 60 folks, several of whom were engineers and PhDs: "What is a 'channel'?"

Interestingly, no one felt ready to provide a definitive answer, but everyone agreed that my definition was sufficiently useful. That definition is "A 'channel', in this context, is a single frequency." (A slightly more accurate but more complex definition would add "...or frequency band, where that frequency band is presented as a single frequency".)

It is well known that understanding a speech signal that is encoded in only one frequency is impossible. (Researchers disagree slightly, but it appears that it takes at least four 'channels' to provide enough information to understand speech.[1]

Further, peer reviewed research shows that, although rarely, single electrode users have achieved results that demonstrate clearly they must have access to sufficient information to understand speech. ("...(TL) is a superior [House/3M implant] user.... Her performance on a modified version of the Glendonald Auditory Screening procedure [was equaled by only] 1.5% of the total 126 subjects...."[2])

My point, therefore, is that the term "single channel" as applied to single-electrode, analog-stimulus cochlear implants is inaccurate, because it implies that such CIs provide only one frequency of stimulation to the cochlea, leading to a single frequency percept. Given that at least some users of single electrode implants can understand speech, it is logically impossible to assert that these devices offer only a single frequency of stimulus.

Some might assert that a 'channel' is an electrode, and that the term should therefore be applied. A more complex argument legislates against this conclusion, but briefly, there is such a profound difference between the analog stimulus used by single electrode implants, and the pulsatile stimulus used by multiple electrode devices, that they cannot be said to be directly comparable on the basis of the number of electrodes. While the devices have become more sophisticated in recent years, initially it was true that multiple electrode implants provided what in essence was a single frequency per each electrode, but that has never been the case with analog stimulus implants.

Finally, some may assert that because the term is in wide use, these pages should continue its use. Since this argument has to do with the philosophy, standards, and culture of Wikipedia, I would have to leave its resolution to others, better versed in those aspects. But it seems to me, ultimately, that propagating an error, where it is known to be an error, does not serve the ultimate interests of Wikipedia or its users. (I am not suggesting that Wikipedia should engage in controversy or attempt change the views of others, only that in an instance such as this, where a more accurate alternative term is clear, it should be used except when quoting article titles or the words of others.)

In sum, I would appreciate the use of a more accurate term than "single channel", and I would suggest the use of "single electrode" (or better "analog stimulus") cochlear implants.

David Mirgy (talk) 18:33, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

Some audio-/video- issues with these implants - The Dangers[edit]

There is a technical possibility for creating "hearing illusions" with the cochlea-implant and it is done by leading in "template signals" to one part of the cord, from the start of the ear-cord that turns up the "ear-snail-house", and "extracting" it on the very end, innermost in the "snail-house" to get the signals out (also as confirmation).
The same goes for "tech-eyes". Note also for blocking signals, on a "Photoshop"-basis, making people "selectively/partially blind", by engineering principles, by "same-phase" signals, much like you would nullify signals going through a wire "with intelligence". (talk) 21:38, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

Nr. 2. The image connected to this article isn't medically/anatomically correct. There should be more details to it and I encourage people to take action! (talk) 21:40, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

Rush Limbaugh praises the technology of cochlear implant[edit]

After having his cochlear implant for 13 years, Rush Limbaugh has decided to have the second implant: On April 8, 2014, on his radio program, Limbaugh announced his decision to ‘go bilateral’. “I’m going to get an implant on the right side”, he said. He discusses details with a caller for 15 minutes. It is very informative. — Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) —

The website includes two great links with his transcripts (before and after) with great graphics/explanations on cochlear implants. [4],[5]. Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 13:39, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

A grandfather calls in with a testimonial about his grandson, two years old. [6] Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 15:01, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

Headline-1: Looking Forward to Cochlear Implant Mapping

QUOTE: "RUSH: I'll be out on the Left Coast [CA] later in the week. It's actually gonna be an exciting week. It's kind of unknown because it's later this week that I have my new cochlear implant activated and mapped and, at that point, find out whether or not it made sense to do it. (interruption) Well, no, 'cause it can't be any worse. But there are no predictors. It's just three weeks ago that I had surgery to have the cochlear implant put on the right ear." -- Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 15:26, 6 May 2014 (UTC) -- PS:FYI for future editing (next week).

Famous people with cochlear implants[edit]

Do we want a section of famous people who have cochlear implants? -- Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 13:39, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
    • ^ Loizou PC, Dorman M, Tu Z: "On the number of channels needed to understand speech" J Acoust Soc Am. 1999 Oct;106(4 Pt 1):2097-103,
    • ^ Chute PM, Hellman SA, Parisier, SC, Selesnick SH: "A matched-pairs comparison of single and multichannel cochlear implants in children" Laryngoscope 100 January 1990, p 25-28,