11 July 2018
Vol 10, Issue 449

About The Cover

Cover image expansion

ONLINE COVER Ascending into Light and Sound. Depicted here is a spiral-shaped staircase representing the cochlea, the spiral cavity of the mammalian inner ear. The most effective approach for rescuing hearing loss relies on electrical stimulation of cochlear spiral ganglion neurons. However, due to the spreading of current around the electrodes, electric cochlear implants provide poor sound definition. Now, Wrobel and colleagues leverage the spatial precision of optogenetics, developing an optical cochlear implant that utilizes light to stimulate cochlear cells. Optical fiber-mediated light delivery into the cochlea promoted auditory behavioral responses in a gerbil model of deafness. The results pave the way for the development of optical cochlear implants with high definition capacity. [CREDIT: LI KIM GOH/GETTY IMAGES]