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What if Beethoven had a cochlear implant?

Last week, I was at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra enjoying a program of Lutosławski (Musique funèbre), Beethoven (Piano Concerto No. 3), and Tchaikovsky (Symphony No. 6 aka Pathétique), conducted by Christoph von Dohnányi. I was thinking about the fact that Beethoven was deaf and wondering whether too much music had been his undoing. It is not uncommon that peoples’ individual […]

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Cochlear implants: one man’s experience

Recently, I was lucky enough to meet Tom Rice. Tom received a cochlear implant in October of 2013 and is open to sharing his nearly life-long experience with hearing loss. I am indebted to Tom for his willingness to talk about his experience and I stand in complete admiration for his generosity. I also want to thank Marlon Aguilar for producing the […]

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Regeneration II: Role for self-direction?

This is a common octopus (Octopus vulgaris), which has the ability to regenerate arms. Photo credit: Shuichi Shigeno, Cliff Ragsdale’s Laboratory, University of Chicago. In response to my recent regeneration post, my brother-in-law writes: “The brain IS cool – and so are your articles! Might functional recovery be self-directed? – have you read the research on neuroplasticity?” I have to […]

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