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J Assoc Res Otolaryngol. 2005 Sep;6(3):269-79.

Effects of stimulation rate, mode and level on modulation detection by cochlear implant users.

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Department of Auditory Implants and Perception, House Ear Institute, 2100 West Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90057, USA.


In cochlear implant (CI) patients, temporal processing is often poorest at low listening levels, making perception difficult for low-amplitude temporal cues that are important for consonant recognition and/or speech perception in noise. It remains unclear how speech processor parameters such as stimulation rate and stimulation mode may affect temporal processing, especially at low listening levels. The present study investigated the effects of these parameters on modulation detection by six CI users. Modulation detection thresholds (MDTs) were measured as functions of stimulation rate, mode, and level. Results show that for all stimulation rate and mode conditions, modulation sensitivity was poorest at quiet listening levels, consistent with results from previous studies. MDTs were better with the lower stimulation rate, especially for quiet-to-medium listening levels. Stimulation mode had no significant effect on MDTs. These results suggest that, although high stimulation rates may better encode temporal information and widen the electrode dynamic range, CI patients may not be able to access these enhanced temporal cues, especially at the lower portions of the dynamic range. Lower stimulation rates may provide better recognition of weak acoustic envelope information.

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