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J Acoust Soc Am. 2000 Jan;107(1):589-97.

Effect of stimulation rate on phoneme recognition by nucleus-22 cochlear implant listeners.

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Department of Auditory Implants and Perception, House Ear Institute, Los Angeles, California 90057, USA.


This study investigated the effect of pulsatile stimulation rate on medial vowel and consonant recognition in cochlear implant listeners. Experiment 1 measured phoneme recognition as a function of stimulation rate in six Nucleus-22 cochlear implant listeners using an experimental four-channel continuous interleaved sampler (CIS) speech processing strategy. Results showed that all stimulation rates from 150 to 500 pulses/s/electrode produced equally good performance, while stimulation rates lower than 150 pulses/s/electrode produced significantly poorer performance. Experiment 2 measured phoneme recognition by implant listeners and normal-hearing listeners as a function of the low-pass cutoff frequency for envelope information. Results from both acoustic and electric hearing showed no significant difference in performance for all cutoff frequencies higher than 20 Hz. Both vowel and consonant scores dropped significantly when the cutoff frequency was reduced from 20 Hz to 2 Hz. The results of these two experiments suggest that temporal envelope information can be conveyed by relatively low stimulation rates. The pattern of results for both electrical and acoustic hearing is consistent with a simple model of temporal integration with an equivalent rectangular duration (ERD) of the temporal integrator of about 7 ms.

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