Since losing his hearing, Michael Chorost has volunteered himself as a guinea-pig for a number of experiments with the software that controls his cochlear implant. He has written extensively about those experiences.
This week, I stumbled upon one of his stories in The Best American Science Writing 2006 and thoroughly enjoyed it. My Bionic Quest for Bolero tells the tale of his quest to hear every nuance of his favorite song by traveling across the country and allowing a host of scientists to tweak the settings of his digital ear. I was fascinated to learn that researchers were able to squeeze so much extra performance out of the medical device without any upgrades to the implanted hardware.
Don’t forget to vote for Shelley!
Her research may someday make electronic implants obsolete.