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Blake Wilson, Ph.D., D.Sc., D.Eng., Dr.med.hc (multi)
The Development of the Modern Cochlear Implant and the First Substantial Restoration of Human Sense Using a Medical Intervention
Co-Director, Duke Hearing Center, Duke University Medical Center
Adjunct Professor, Department of Surgery, Division of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Duke University Medical CenterScholar in Residence, Pratt School of Engineering, Duke University
2 Riverside Circle, Roanoke, VA 24016
Even as recently as the mid-1980s, many experts in otology and auditory science thought that restoration of useful hearing with crude and pervasive electrical stimulation of the cochlea was a fool’s dream. But the pioneers in the development of the cochlear implant (CI) persevered in the face of the vociferous criticisms and provided the foundation for the modern CI, which enables high levels of speech recognition for the great majority of its users with the restored hearing alone and without any visual cues such as the visual cues from lipreading. In his presentation, Dr. Wilson will trace five large steps forward that led to ever-better hearing with the CI and related treatments. In addition, he will discuss some possibilities for further steps forward and for increasing access worldwide to the already-marvelous devices we have today.