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[Category : - HEALTH]
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The working principle of the cochlea / inner ear is based on the work of Von Bekesy. In his theory, sound pressure variations in front of the eardrum -transferred by the ossicular chain -evoke pressure waves inside the cochlea. These pressure waves set the basilar membrane into a travelling wave motion running from the base, nearby the oval window to the apex. In this theory, the frequency content of the electric signals generated in the cochlea is always similar to the frequency content of the sound signals responsible for the electric signals. As current hearing instruments are based on this theory, they simply filter the frequency content of the received sound signal.

After elaborate modeling of the physics of the cochlea and verifying the model in a number of sound experiments, we are of the opinion that the current theory is not representative for the working principle of the human ear. (See Heerens & De Ru -applying physics makes auditory sense)

The new theory can be formulated as that the human ear detects and transfers the power spectrum density of the sound signal, whereas the old theory assumes that the human ear detects the frequency spectrum of the sound signal itself.
This implies that hearing instruments, especially cochlear implants, should be programmed in a different manner; that is based on the working mechanism of the inner ear.

This invention is especially useful for cochlear implants.

Improvement of hearing in severely impaired patients .

Financial information

Hearing impairment is the number one 'disability' in the elderly.
Everyone will need an hearing instrument if he/she gets old.

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