Cochlear Implant Studies


The Cochlear Implant Electrical Field Model project was a RENCI Faculty Fellow project with Charles Finley, research associate professor in the department of otolaryngology, School of Medicine at UNC. The project aimed to improve the cochlear implant model of the inner ear by providing insight into the stimulation mechanism that occurs in the cochlea. Cochlear implants help to restore functional speech understanding in patients with profound hearing losses. RENCI researchers and Finley worked to develop patient-specific computational models to determine the final positioning of electrode contacts in the implant that take advantage of the patients’ functioning neurons.

RENCI experts used high-performance computing and advanced visualization tools to improve the design and application of cochlear implants. RENCI also built a detailed computer model of the inner ear, enabling scientists and health professionals to more precisely evaluate the effectiveness of cochlear implant devices in patients. Utilizing advanced visualization tools, scientists are able to study the effects of activating the implant and detect its specific location.


UNC Office of the Provost


Charles C. Finley, research associate professor, School of Medicine, department of otolaryngology, joint department of biomedical engineering, UNC and NC State.

Project Team

  • Allan Porterfield, project leader
  • Ruth Marinshaw
  • Mark Reed
  • David Borland