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Authors Churchill TH, Kan A, Goupell MJ, Litovsky RY
Author Profile(s)
Journal J. Acoust. Soc. Am. Volume: 136 Issue: 3 Pages: 1246
Publish Date 2014 Sep
PubMed ID 25190398
PMC ID 4165227

Most contemporary cochlear implant (CI) processing strategies discard acoustic temporal fine structure (TFS) information, and this may contribute to the observed deficits in bilateral CI listeners’ ability to localize sounds when compared to normal hearing listeners. Additionally, for best speech envelope representation, most contemporary speech processing strategies use high-rate carriers (≥900 Hz) that exceed the limit for interaural pulse timing to provide useful binaural information. Many bilateral CI listeners are sensitive to interaural time differences (ITDs) in low-rate (<300 Hz) constant-amplitude pulse trains. This study explored the trade-off between superior speech temporal envelope representation with high-rate carriers and binaural pulse timing sensitivity with low-rate carriers. The effects of carrier pulse rate and pulse timing on ITD discrimination, ITD lateralization, and speech recognition in quiet were examined in eight bilateral CI listeners. Stimuli consisted of speech tokens processed at different electrical stimulation rates, and pulse timings that either preserved or did not preserve acoustic TFS cues. Results showed that CI listeners were able to use low-rate pulse timing cues derived from acoustic TFS when presented redundantly on multiple electrodes for ITD discrimination and lateralization of speech stimuli.

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