Early last year, gurus at the University of Michigan were devising a newfangled type of cochlear implant, but now it looks like the Wolverines are more interested in a fresh auditory nerve implant that is being dubbed "a superior alternative" to the (now) old fashioned option. The uber-thin electrode array would purportedly "transmit a wide range of sounds to the brain," and could give profoundly and severely deaf people the ability to "to hear low-pitched sounds common in speech, converse in a noisy room, identify high and low voices, and appreciate music." Researchers on the project are convinced that this technology trumps cochlear implants in every way, and while preliminary patents have already been filed, it'll still be nearly a decade at best before these things can invade human ears en masse.

[Via Physorg]

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Auditory nerve implant could drastically benefit deaf individuals