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J Acoust Soc Am. 2005 Mar;117(3 Pt 1):1405-16.

Interactions between cochlear implant electrode insertion depth and frequency-place mapping.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90089, USA.


While new electrode designs allow deeper insertion and wider coverage in the cochlea, there is still considerable variation in the insertion depth of the electrode array among cochlear implant users. The present study measures speech recognition as a function of insertion depth, varying from a deep insertion of 10 electrodes at 28.8 mm to a shallow insertion of a single electrode at 7.2 mm, in four Med-El Combi 40+ users. Short insertion depths were simulated by inactivating apical electrodes. Speech recognition increased with deeper insertion, reaching an asymptotic level at 21.6 or 26.4 mm depending on the frequency-place map used. Başkent and Shannon [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 116, 3130-3140 (2004)] showed that speech recognition by implant users was best when the acoustic input frequency was matched onto the cochlear location that normally processes that frequency range, minimizing the spectral distortions in the map. However, if an electrode array is not fully inserted into the cochlea, a matched map will result in the loss of considerable low-frequency information. The results show a strong interaction between the optimal frequency-place mapping and electrode insertion depth. Consistent with previous studies, frequency-place matching produced better speech recognition than compressing the full speech range onto the electrode array for full insertion ranges (20 to 25 mm from the round window). For shallower insertions (16.8 and 19.2 mm) a mild amount of frequency-place compression was better than truncating the frequency range to match the basal cochlear location. These results show that patients with shallow electrode insertions might benefit from a map that assigns a narrower frequency range than patients with full insertions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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