July 16, 2018

Pitch Imperfect: The Quest to Improve the Bionic Ear

To date, cochlear implants are the most successful electronic device for restoring sensation in individuals with sensorineural hearing loss. Yet these devices are not without flaws. For instance, pitch perception is extremely poor in these devices, and that can affect an implant user's ability to distinguish sounds in a noisy room. In this episode, we speak to Dr. Charles Limb, a UCSF ear surgeon who specializes in hearing loss and performs these cochlear implant surgeries. By incorporating complex elements of music, Dr. Limb and his team hope to improve the current cochlear implant model so those with hearing loss have a wider range and more sensitive ability to hear.

Hosted by Ramie Fathy and Devika Nair
Produced by Devika Nair, Anna Lipkin, and Ramie Fathy
Editing help from the CTOR team

Music used in this episode:
"The Zeppelin," "Shift of Currents," and "Heliotrope" by Blue Dot Sessions
"Western Tanager" and "Yellow-rumped Warbler" by Chad Crouch
"Aim is True," "All The Ways," "In My Head," "Intermezzo," "Paper Boat," "Ringling," "Surface Tension," "Clair de Lune (Synth Arr.)," "Clair de Lune (Felt Piano, Rhodes and Drum Machine Arr.)"and "Window Shopping" by Podington Bear
Beethoven -Symphony no 9 in D minor, opus 125 - Movement 2 performed by Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra