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Authors van Hoesel RJ, Litovsky RY
Author Profile(s)
Journal J. Acoust. Soc. Am. Volume: 130 Issue: 6 Pages: 4082-8
Publish Date 2011 Dec
PubMed ID 22225062
PMC ID 3257758

The comparison of measured binaural performance with the better of two monaural measures (one from each ear) may lead to underestimated binaural benefit due to statistical sampling bias that favors the monaural condition. The mathematical basis of such bias is reviewed and applied to speech reception thresholds measured in 32 bilateral cochlear implant (CI) users for coincident and spatially separated speech and noise. It is shown that the bias increases with test-retest variation and is maximal for uncorrelated samples of identical underlying performance in each ear. When measured differences between ears were assumed to reflect actual underlying performance differences, the bias averaged across the CI users was about 0.2 dB for coincident target and noise, and 0.1 dB for spatially separated conditions. An upper-bound estimate of the bias, based on the assumption that both ears have the same underlying performance and observed differences were due to test-retest variation, was about 0.7 dB regardless of noise location. To the extent that the test-retest variation in these data is comparable to other studies, the results indicate that binaural benefits in bilateral cochlear implant users are not substantially underestimated (on for average) when binaural performance is compared with the better ear in each listening configuration.

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