SC2 Neurosensory Implants: Simulation and Perception


Over the last 20 years, neurosensory implants have become a reality: we can now replace ears, eyes, and parts of the balance system with electronic replacement parts. While “cochlea implants” are now implanted daily and are readily available, only a few medically certified retinal implants exist; and vestibular implants are feasible but are not yet certified. The course describes the state-of-the-art of these implants and shows how their signal transduction can be remarkably easily simulated with computers.


• Understand the physiological signal transduction in eyes, ears, and the balance system.
• Know the limitations of existing neurosensory implants.
• Know which computational tools can be used to simulate the signal transduction in those implants.


All required information is available under

Course location

Forum 2

Course requirements


Instructor information.

Thomas Haslwanter


University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria.


After a start in theoretical and experimental quantum optics, with research stays at the JILA-Institute in Boulder (Colorado), Thomas Haslwanter obtained his PhD working on the human and primate balance system at the ETH Zurich. After post-doctoral research stays at the University of Sydney, University of Tübingen, College de France, and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, he returned to the ETH to obtain his habilitation in computational and experimental neuroscience on the human balance system. A climbing accident in 2001 led to a partial paralysis, and a shift to more applied work, at the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria. His research now concentrates on sensory feedback for patients with leg prostheses, and fall prevention in the elderly.