Plural Publishing produces leading academic, scientific and clinical publications in the fields of speech-language pathology, audiology, and otolaryngology.


Programming Cochlear Implants

Second Edition
Jace Wolfe, Erin Schafer
408 pages, Color Illustrations (2 Color), Softcover, 8.5 x 11"
Release Date:
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Cochlear implants offer significant benefits for children and adults with severe to profound hearing loss; however, to realize these benefits the device must be carefully and correctly programmed. With current information on cochlear implant technology, Programming Cochlear Implants, Second Edition, a volume in the Core Clinical Concepts in Audiology Series, is a valuable guide for clinicians providing services to cochlear implant users or as a teaching tool for graduate-level students.

Programming Cochlear Implants, Second Edition introduces the basics of cochlear implant hardware and programming and continues through advanced programming techniques, with manufacturer-specific information and case studies. The text reviews clinical protocols for cochlear implant management; programming considerations for bilateral cochlear implant; troubleshooting during the programming process; device-specific programming techniques; use of objective measures to set cochlear implant programs; use of FM and assistive listening devices with cochlear implants; and providing support to difficult-to-program users, such as infants, individuals with cognitive impairment, persons with disabilities, and so forth.

New topics addressed in the second edition include:

  • preservation of residual hearing following cochlear implant surgery
  • programming cochlear implants for patients with substantial residual hearing in the low-frequency range, including electrode array options
  • cochlear implant impedances and the impact of impedance on programming and management
  • signal coding strategies and signal processing
  • theoretical concepts that may influence cochlear implant programming


  • Nancy Cambron, International Journal of Audiology 2011 (2011):
    "[***FIRST EDITION***]...a practical straightforward text that delivers what it advertises— a thorough description of how to program cochlear implant processors...well-organized. Bold headings invite the reader to flip through the chapters to the topic of his or her interest. Large photographs, figures, and tables are clear, easy to read, and apply directly to the text. The descriptions are up-to-date and the photographs show current devices. The authors do a great job of explaining the most recent technology as well as previous strategies and devices that clinicians may encounter...Overall, I heartily recommend this book as a useful resource in the audiology classroom as well as in the cochlear implant clinic. Drs. Wolfe and Schafer ambitiously cover the current cochlear implant technology to date, and I look forward to seeing new editions as technology emerges."

  • Dan Schwartz, The Hearing Blog (2015):
    "We have received the second edition of this excellent book, and it is over twice the size of the first edition and even better than the first edition. We recommend it.

    [***FIRST EDITION***] Programming Cochlear Implants is a pretty darned good book for a college educated CI candidate, CI "power user", or even the parents of a "CI kiddie", as it provides a nicely detailed view of CI’s, rather than what you can extract from the "FDA-sanitized" marketing hype from the CI manufacturers. This book has some very nice troubleshooting tips, especially for parents and school audiologists. Also, Chapter 7 on hearing assistance technology (HAT), which is mostly all on FM, is very good, as it lays out how configuring FM assistive devices with CI’s differs from hearing aids: In the opinion of The Hearing Blog, this chapter is worth the price of the book alone...

    Where this book is quite helpful to the CI user community is pointing out where Best Practices can be (and often are) skimped to speed things along in busy clinics; and when these shortcuts are taken, should serve as Warning Flags to the astute user or parent. A large part of these shortcuts are due to poor 3rd party reimbursement; but also it’s a bit troubling that the ramifications of the CI audiologist taking these shortcuts in terms of patient performance is not fully discussed in this book, i.e. it’s OK if the CI audiologist has an attitude of "it’s good enough for government work", which, as an Engineer, this reviewer finds a bit lacking. Most notably, the common shortcut of assuming T levels of 10% of M levels on the AB and Med-El systems will result in an incorrect input dynamic range (IDR) being displayed: It will work, but in an unpredictable manner depending on the actual (measured) T levels the patient has...Overall, we give Programming Cochlear Implants a 4½ Star rating; and we highly recommend it to CI users, parents of CI kiddies, and to CI candidates."

Foreword by Teresa A. Zwolan

Chapter 1. Basic Components and Operation of a Cochlear Implant
Jace Wolfe, Erin C. Schafer, and Sara Neumann
Basic Operation of Cochlear Implants
Basic Components of Current Cochlear Implant Systems
Advanced Bionics Corporation
Cochlear Corporation
MED-EL Corporation
Key Concepts

Chapter 2. Basic Terminology of Cochlear Implant Programming
Parameters Affecting Signal Coding in the Intensity Domain
Parameters Affecting Signal Coding in the Frequency Domain
Parameters Affecting Signal Coding in the Time Domain
Basic Cochlear Implant Terminology
Basic Cochlear Implant Signal Coding Strategies
Key Concepts

Chapter 3. Basic Principles of Programming
Preactivation Procedures
Programming After Implantation
Key Concepts

Chapter 4. Programming Advanced Bionics Implants
Advanced Bionics CPI-3 Programming Interface
Programming Advanced Bionics Sound Processors
Key Concepts

Chapter 5. Programming Cochlear Devices
Programming the Nucleus 6 System
Programming Previous Generations of Nucleus Implants
Key Concepts

Chapter 6. Programming MED-EL Cochlear Implants
''Jace Wolfe, Erin C. Schafer, and Sara Neumann
Patient Information Entry
Connecting the Sound Processor and Conducting the Electrode Impedance Measurement
Creating a Program in MAESTRO 4.0
MED-EL Specific Troubleshooting
Additional Considerations
Auditory Response Telemetry (ART)
Key Concepts

Chapter 7. Clinical Considerations: Putting All of the Pieces Together
Collaboration with Cochlear Implant Surgeon/Medical Evaluation
Programming Schedule
The Role of Electrically Evoked Potentials in Programming
Additional Habilitative/Rehabilitative Considerations
Considerations for Bilateral Cochlear Implantation
Key Concepts

Chapter 8. Patient Complaints and Complications
Managing Recipients Who Experience Disappointing Outcomes
Identifying "Red Flags"
Factors Influencing Cochlear Implant Outcomes
Programming Adjustments for the Most common Complaints and Complications
Key Concepts

Chapter 9. Hearing Assistance Technology (HAT) and Cochlear Implants
Basic Description of Personal Systems
Optimal Systems for Use with a Cochlear Implants
Description and Programming for Personal HAT and Cochlear Implants
HAT to Improve Telephone Conversations
Summary of HAT for Cochlear Implants
Key Concepts

Chapter 10. Programming Recipients Using Electric-Acoustic Stimulation
Electrode Array Location and Place of Stimulation
Current Devices
Performance with Hybrid or Minimally Invasive Cochlear Implants
Selecting Electrode Arrays for Hearing Preservation
Optimizing the Fitting
Clinical Protocol for Programming EAS Devices
The Future of EAS
Key Concepts

Chapter 11. Case Studies
Jace Wolfe, Erin C. Schafer, and Mila Morais
Case Study 1: Basic Example of Creating Programs for an Adult Recipient
Case Study 2: Establishing a Program for an Adult Via Objective Measures
Case Study 3: Creating Programs for a 1-Year-Old Implant Recipient
Case Study 4: Creating a Program for a Young Recipient Using Advanced Bionics HiRes 90K Advantage Cochlear Implant
Case Study 5: Inadequate Stimulation Levels and Narrow Electrical Dynamic Range
Case Study 6: Using Objective Measure to Set Upper-Stimulation Levels
Case Study 7: Creating a Program for a Recipient with Multiple Disabilities
Case Study 8: Use of Objective Measures as a Guide to Avoid Overstimulation
Case Study 9: Addressing Speech-Recognition Difficulties That May Be Associated with Excessive Stimulation
Case Study 10: Utilizing Behavioral Information to Create a Cochlear Implant Program and Address Recipient Difficulties
Case Study 11: Sawtooth Electrode Impedance Pattern Managed with Programming
Case Study 12: Flat Low Common Ground Impedances with Performance Decrease
Case Study 13: Physiologic-Related Electrode Impedance Changes
Case Study 14: Impedance Changes Secondary to Excessive Stimulation
Case Study 15: Programming for a Teenage Recipient Who Had Significant Residucal Hearing After Implantation
Key Concepts

About The Authors

Jace Wolfe

Jace Wolfe, PhD, is the Director of Audiology and Research at the Hearts for Hearing Foundation in Oklahoma City, OK. He also is an adjunct Assistant Professor in the Audiology Department at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and Salus University.

Erin Schafer

Erin C. Schafer, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences at the University of North Texas, where she has held an academic appointment since 2005.

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