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A new operator for the restoration of digital images corrupted by impulse noise is presented. The proposed operator is a simple recursive switching median filter controlled by a neuro-fuzzy network functioning as an impulse detector. The internal parameters of the neuro-fuzzy impulse detector are adaptively determined by training. The training is easily accomplished using simple artificial images that can be generated in a computer. The most distinctive feature of the proposed operator over other operators is that it offers excellent detail and texture preservation performance while at the same time effectively removing noise from the input image. Experiments show that the proposed operator may be used for efficient restoration of digital images corrupted by impulse noise without distorting the useful information in the image.