The Department of Otolaryngology is among the international leaders in hearing research. The range of activities covers the causes, diagnosis and therapy of all kinds of hearing impairment. One particularly important field is the functional restoration of hearing using auditory implants. These include cochlear implants which replace the inner ear, central auditory implants in the midbrain and brainstem region (to treat neural deafness) and implantable hearing aids to correct conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. Research here includes work on new electrodes to regenerate the inner ear, local pharmacotherapy for hearing impairment, development of new ossicular prostheses, and signal processing. Foundational to this work are physiological studies on the impact of hearing impairment on the development and function of the auditory system, including its plasticity.