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Artificial organs: recent progress in artificial hearing and vision

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Artificial sensory organs are a prosthetic means of sending visual or auditory information to the brain by electrical stimulation of the optic or auditory nerves to assist visually impaired or hearing-impaired people. However, clinical application of artificial sensory organs, except for cochlear implants, is still a trial-and-error process. This is because how and where the information transmitted to the brain is processed is still unknown, and also because changes in brain function (plasticity) remain unknown, even though brain plasticity plays an important role in meaningful interpretation of new sensory stimuli. This article discusses some basic unresolved issues and potential solutions in the development of artificial sensory organs such as cochlear implants, brainstem implants, artificial vision, and artificial retinas.

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Correspondence to Tohru Ifukube.

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This article is a translation of an article that first appeared in Japanese in Jinkozoki 2007;36(3):198–200

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Ifukube, T. Artificial organs: recent progress in artificial hearing and vision. J Artif Organs 12, 8–10 (2009).

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