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Authors Smith ZM, Kan A, Jones HG, Buhr-Lawler M, Godar SP, Litovsky RY
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Journal J. Acoust. Soc. Am. Volume: 135 Issue: 4 Pages: 2190
Publish Date 2014 Apr
PubMed ID 25235196

While bilateral cochlear implant (BiCI) recipients generally receive significant benefits from the addition of a second ear, evidence suggests that much of the benefit is attributed to monaural effects or to the availability of interaural level differences. The benefits are less than those in normal-hearing listeners, however, in part because the sound localization and speech unmasking that are measured may show greater benefits if interaural time difference (ITD) cues were also available. To date, there is a paucity of evidence that ITDs can be captured and saliently delivered by cochlear implant processors. In this study, we used a research processing strategy that explicitly codes ITD cues. We measured BiCI listeners’ ITD sensitivity to broadband speech material and ITD-based unmasking in a multi-talker listening scenario by directly presenting sounds through the accessory inputs of their sound processors. Performance was compared to that with the commercial ACE processing strategy. Initial results show that some subjects with good ITD sensitivity can also take advantage of ITD to better understand a target talker in the presence of a masking talker at low target-to-masker ratios. This suggests that improving ITD perception in BiCIs may lead to better hearing outcomes in real-world listening situations. Copyright © 2017 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System