Université Paul Sabatier


Sur ce site

Sur le Web du CNRS

Accueil du site > Actualités > « What do cochlear implants really do ? »

« What do cochlear implants really do ? »

For nearly 40 years, deaf patients can benefit from a cochlear implantation in order to restore their oral communication skills. These cochlear implants are electronic hearing aids consisting mainly of a bundle of electrodes placed in the inner ear which will restore the external sound signal to the auditory nerve in the form of electrical pulses. Work on the improvement of sound coding strategies is at the heart of research in the field in order to provide patients with the most accurate and suitable electrical signal possible. In the case of deep bilateral deafness, the literature attests to an optimal recovery of speech understanding performance in quiet environments and a significant improvement in the quality of life of these patients. However, the quality of the sound transmitted and its perception by the patient via the implant remains largely unknown. What do these "deaf-hearing" people hear through this neuroprosthesis ? Acoustic simulations were developed by O.Macherey (Laboratory of Mechanics and Acoustics, CNRS, Marseille) and t Chadlia Karoui (PhD Student, CerCo, Cifre contract, Cochlear) as part of a study on the rehabilitation of unilateral deafness by cochlear implantation under the direction of Pr. Mathieu Marx (équipe C3P et CHU Purpan). The results being validated in unilateral deaf patients with cochlear implants in the ORL-CHU service of Toulouse-Purpan have defined the simulations which are closed to the sound transmitted via the implant than the usual simulations. These results represent another step in the understanding of the world of deaf patients with cochlear implants who, thanks to the neuroprosthesis, find oral communication and the accompanying social life.

A documentary on FranceCulture presents testimonies of young patients implanted as well as sounds synthesized from these new acoustic simulations.


Mise à jour 02/06/2017