Cochlear Implants and Music

Ludwig van Beethoven -

Ludwig van Beethoven

Did you know Beethoven began losing his hearing at the age of 26? I actually did know this “Before Fiona”, but the meaning is now more inspiring than ever.

Dr. Charles Limb of John Hopkins recently presented a TED Talk speaking to the perception of music for Cochlear Implant users. While CIs represent an amazing technological breakthrough for basic speech recognition, music perception is still primitive at best.

I found this talk highly informative and entertaining. Don’t let the 16 minute length discourage you, it’s littered with humor and multimedia goodness. I think you’ll find it worth your time.

Dr. Limb ended with an interesting sentiment: while restoration of basic function (language, safety sounds) is critical, the “perception of beauty” is what life is all about. If you were to lose your hearing tomorrow, would you want to just hear speech again? You’d want it ALL!

This is not sour grapes, but a call to keep pushing on. We’ve come a long way, but we’re not there yet.

I couldn’t agree more.

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One thought on “Cochlear Implants and Music

  1. Muriel Lindsay

    So good to ponder these things that I would not know about were it not for Fiona and Mark’s blog. Music is so vital to the feeling nature. Very inspiring Ted talk. many thanks.

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