How a Cochlear Implant Enables You to Hear
The external component consists of a sound processor in the form of either a behind-the-ear (BTE) or box-shaped device. This device is connected by a cable to a headpiece that rests on the scalp above the ear. The sound processor is sometimes called a speech processor.
- The implant’s magnet connects from beneath the skin with a magnet in the headpiece outside the skin. The implant contains a computer chip and an electrode array, a very thin wire that is lined with electrodes and threaded through the cochlea.
- A microphone in the headpiece detects sound and sends it to the sound processor.
- The sound processor’s computer “processes” the sound and sends the signals to a transmitter and receiver/stimulator, where they are
converted into electric impulses.
- The electric impulses are collected by the electrode array inside the cochlea. The electrodes then stimulate different areas of the auditory nerve.
- The stimulated auditory nerve sends the signals to the brain, which recognizes what it has received as sound - speech, environmental sounds, music.