Cochlear implant

A cochlear implant is essentially a microphone that converts sound into electrical impulses. After a portion of the temporal bone called the mastoid is drilled away, small wires corresponding to several sound frequencies are passed into the cochlea (hearing part of the inner ear). As the microphone picks up sound it is converted into an electrical impulse that directly stimulates the fibers of the acoustic nerve where they enter the cochlea from the brainstem, thus bypassing the “hair cells” of the inner ear that normally create the nerve impulses.

Learn more at the New York Head and Neck Institute