National Geographic : 2010 Jan
RECEIVER STIMULATOR Directs signals from antenna to electrodes in cochlea ELECTRODE ARRAY Stimulates auditory nerves to carry sound signals to the brain MAGNET Holds external trans- mitter that sends signal to antenna beneath skin ANTENNA Receives signals from micro- phone in external speech processor ABOVE: JOHNS HOPKINS HOSPITAL COMPOSITE X RAY IMAGE MADE DURING SURGERY Wired for Sound Aiden Kenny got two cochlear implants when he was ten months old. Bypassing parts of his ears that don't work, the implants---visible in an x-ray (above)---carry electronic signals to his auditory nerves. Within months of the surgery, a child who'd grown increasingly quiet spoke the words his hearing parents longed for: Mama and Dada. "You're looking at a real bionic kid," says Johns Hopkins University surgeon John Niparko.