This application seeks partial support for the 2013 and 2015 Conference on Implantable Auditory Prostheses (CIAP). The 2013 CIAP is scheduled to be held at the Granlibakken Conference Center, Lake Tahoe, CA July 14-19, 2013. The cochlear implant (CI) is the first neural prosthesis in widespread clinical application. It provide the only effective therapy for restoring sound sensation and speech understanding to the profoundly deaf. Over the past 20 years dramatic improvements in patients'performance with these devices have been achieved. Currently the average speech understanding score for implanted postlingually deafened adults is 80-100% correct. Congenitally deaf children who receive a CI prior to age 2 are achieving nearly normal rates of speech and language development with cochlear implants. CIs provide significant improvement in communication even in postlingually deafened adults who have significant residual acoustic hearing. The auditory brainstem implant, a variation on the cochlear implant that stimulates the cochlear nucleus, can provide speech understanding in children and adults who have no cochlear nerve. These advances have benefitted substantially from the collective efforts of researchers in a broad array of scientific disciplines, from engineering, materials science, and signal processing, to linguistics and cognition. This broad, interdisciplinary collaboration and cooperation has been fostered in large part through this series of biennial research conferences, originating with a 1983 Gordon Conference. These conferences are the only forum related to cochlear implants in which scientific research issues are the sole focus. The long-term goal of this conference series is to generate new research ideas that will improve the design and function of auditory prostheses.
The Specific Aims of this proposal are (1) to provide a forum for the presentation and discussion of the latest and highest quality basic research on cochlear implants and other auditory prostheses, (2) to provide a meeting venue and atmosphere that is conducive to scientific discussion and brainstorming, and (3) to provide an opportunity for young investigators in the field to present their work and network with established investigators. The CIAP conferences use the Gordon Research Conference model of organization, which includes ample time for discussion within the program, ample unstructured time to encourage spontaneous informal discussions and brainstorming, and an isolated "retreat" location so that participants spend almost all their waking hours in the company of other conference participants.
This proposal seeks partial support for a biennial international conference on basic research on cochlear implants and other forms of prosthetic hearing. This conference provides a unique forum for scientists to share their latest research and to brainstorm about future directions in research.