- Caiden Moran participated in a trial in January 2015 at the USC Keck School of Medicine that implanted a microphone and transmitter onto his head which converts sounds into electrical signals. But the real magic happens because the device directly stimulates auditory neurons on the brain stem, bypassing the inner ear. The procedure requires brain surgery, of course.
- Moran still needs to learn what his new device is telling him. Because he was born with no auditory input, he still needs to work out how to understand and interpret sounds. But early results are encouraging — he’s more vocal than ever even though he still relies on sign language.
- Surgeons overseas have been performing this procedure for more than 10 years, but the United States only started having FDA-approved trials last year. This one’s the first, and it’s only available for children between the ages of two and five.
“Bionic Ear” Directly Stimulates Auditory Neurons in the Brain
8. 24. 15 by Kif Leswing