As hybrid cochlear implant devices are increasingly used for restoring hearing in patients with residual hearing, it is important to understand electrically evoked responses in cochleae having functional hair cells. To test the hypothesis that extracochlear electrical stimulation (EES) from sinusoidal current can provoke an auditory nerve response with normal frequency selectivity, the EES–evoked compound action potential (ECAP) was investigated in this study. Brief sinusoidal electrical currents, delivered via a round window electrode, were used to evoke ECAP. The ECAP waveform was observed to be the same as the acoustically evoked CAP(ACAP), except for a shorter latency. The input/output and intensity/latency functions of ACAPs and ECAPs were also similar. The maximum acoustic masking for both ACAP and ECAP occurred near probe frequencies. Since the masked tuning curve of a CAP reflects the frequency selectivity of neural excitation, these data demonstrate a highly specific activation of the auditory nerve, which would result in high degree of frequency selectivity. This frequency selectivity likely results from the cochlear traveling wave caused by electrically stimulated outer hair cells.
- Electrical stimulation
- cochlear compound action potential
- cochlear implant
ASJC Scopus subject areas