News FocusNeuroscience

Bypassing Nervous System Damage With Electronics

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Science  23 Apr 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5414, pp. 579
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5414.579

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Although the effort to marry neurons and microelectronics into hybrid circuits is still in its infancy (see main text), neural prostheses that artificially stimulate the nervous system to partially restore lost vision, hearing, or movement are, paradoxically, much further along. Heading the list of successes are cochlear implants, which use implanted electrodes to stimulate auditory nerves and provide rudimentary hearing to the deaf and have already been received by over 20,000 people.