Cochlear Implant

© Technisches Museum Wien
© Technisches Museum Wien
Research adventure
At the moment this object is not published in the museum.

The task of a common hearing aid is simple: it amplifies the volume of the surrounding sounds and transmits these audio signals directly into the ear of a person who is hard of hearing. If, however, a person is completely deaf, this is nearly always due to a destruction of the special sensory cells of the inner ear - and in this case a hearing aid would not help at all.

The cochlear implant is a revolutionary technological development. It makes it possible for even deaf people to hear again. The cochlear is a spiral-shaped organ of hearing located in the inner ear. Using special sensory cells, it transforms sound vibrations into electrical impulses, which are then transmitted to the brain. A cochlear implant bypasses these sensory cells. One part of this ingenious device is located outside of the ear and picks up the sound waves. These are converted and sent as electrical impulses to an interior part of the implant, which is located directly in the cochlear itself. This part then transmits these impulses directly to the auditory nerve. The result being that even deaf people can hear again - even if their sensory cells in the cochlear are not functional.

The special way that the artificial sound conversion works does, however, take some getting used to. How does a person with a cochlear implant perceive language, music and other acoustic impressions? Find out for yourself at the "Abenteuer Forschung" (The Adventure of Science) exhibition at the Technisches Museum Wien (Vienna Technical Museum). Furthermore, we also offer other exciting experiments, information and exhibits on the topic of cochlear implants, deafness and hardness of hearing.

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