Cortical Auditory Evoked Potentials Recorded Directly Through the Cochlear Implant in Cochlear Implant Recipients: A Feasibility Study

Joseph Attias, Suhail Habiballah, Venkata S. Aditya Tarigoppula, Hannah Glick, Chen Chen, Koka Kanthaiah, Leonid Litvak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: The use of objective measures in cochlear implant (CI) mapping, has greatly contributed to the refinement of the setting of audible and comfortable stimulation levels, which serve as the basis of the mapping process, especially in cases of infants and young children. In addition, objective measures can also confirm the integrity of the CI system. Current CI objective measures mainly reflect neural activity from the auditory nerve and brainstem site. An objective cortical CI measure that reflects directly central auditory activity is greatly needed, especially since it is closely related to CI outcomes in both children and adults. Recording the brain activity currently requires an external evoked potential (EP) system including scalp electrodes, rendering it impractical for widespread clinical use. This study aimed to assess the feasibility of recording cortical auditory evoked potentials (CAEPs) directly and solely through the cochlear implant in response to external acoustic stimulation in the non-implanted ear. Design: A total of nine CI users (four females and five males) participated, including seven post-lingual adults (23 to 72 years), and two pediatric cases, one teenager (15 years), and one child (8 years) - both pre-lingual. All participants had a residual hearing in the ear contralateral to the ear with CI. CAEPs were recorded in the implanted ear in response to acoustic stimulation of the non-implanted ear, consisting of a brief tonal stimulus at comfortable listening levels. Recordings used an intracranial montage consisting of an intracochlear apical electrode (active) and one of the two (case and ring) extra-cochlear implanted electrodes serving as reference electrodes. The CI CAEPs were compared with a single-channel conventional CAEP recording obtained simultaneously via scalp electrodes (Fz-mastoid) using a standard EP system and an external trigger from the CI system. Statistical comparisons were made between the CI and the scalp recorded CAEPs and for differences between the CI CAEP measures acquired using the ring and the case as the reference electrode. Results: CAEPs recorded directly and solely through the CI were equivalent to the standard scalp recorded CAEP responses. CAEP responses acquired using the case electrode as the reference were highly correlated in terms of morphology, latencies, and amplitudes of the CAEP components. The CI CAEP latencies of the two pediatric cases were consistent with their normal developed age group and delayed relative to adult CAEP latencies, as expected. Conclusions: This study demonstrated the feasibility of recording long latency CAEPs directly and solely through CI in adults with residual hearing, in response to acoustic stimulation of the non-implanted ear. The CI CAEPs closely resembled the CAEPs recorded simultaneously by an external EP system and via scalp electrodes. The ability to record directly from the implant, without the need of an external recording system, presents an innovative method with many clinical and research implications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1426-1436
Number of pages11
JournalEar and Hearing
Issue number5
StatePublished - 5 Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. All rights reserved.


  • Auditory cortical evoked potentials
  • Backward telemetry
  • CAEP
  • Cochlear implant
  • Objective measure
  • Scalp recorded cortical potentials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Speech and Hearing


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