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J Acoust Soc Am. 1999 Mar;105(3):1889-900.

Recognition of spectrally degraded and frequency-shifted vowels in acoustic and electric hearing.

Author information

1
Department of Auditory Implants and Perception, House Ear Institute, Los Angeles, California 90057, USA. qfu@hei.org

Abstract

The present study measured the recognition of spectrally degraded and frequency-shifted vowels in both acoustic and electric hearing. Vowel stimuli were passed through 4, 8, or 16 bandpass filters and the temporal envelopes from each filter band were extracted by half-wave rectification and low-pass filtering. The temporal envelopes were used to modulate noise bands which were shifted in frequency relative to the corresponding analysis filters. This manipulation not only degraded the spectral information by discarding within-band spectral detail, but also shifted the tonotopic representation of spectral envelope information. Results from five normal-hearing subjects showed that vowel recognition was sensitive to both spectral resolution and frequency shifting. The effect of a frequency shift did not interact with spectral resolution, suggesting that spectral resolution and spectral shifting are orthogonal in terms of intelligibility. High vowel recognition scores were observed for as few as four bands. Regardless of the number of bands, no significant performance drop was observed for tonotopic shifts equivalent to 3 mm along the basilar membrane, that is, for frequency shifts of 40%-60%. Similar results were obtained from five cochlear implant listeners, when electrode locations were fixed and the spectral location of the analysis filters was shifted. Changes in recognition performance in electrical and acoustic hearing were similar in terms of the relative location of electrodes rather than the absolute location of electrodes, indicating that cochlear implant users may at least partly accommodate to the new patterns of speech sounds after long-time exposure to their normal speech processor.

PMID:
10089611
DOI:
10.1121/1.426725
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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