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Ear Hear. 2009 Apr;30(2):169-77. doi: 10.1097/AUD.0b013e31819342cf.

Lexical tone perception with HiResolution and HiResolution 120 sound-processing strategies in pediatric Mandarin-speaking cochlear implant users.

Author information

  • 1Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Beijing Tongren Hospital, Beijing Institute of Otorhinolaryngology, Beijing, People's Republic of China.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Lexical tone recognition tends to be poor in cochlear implant users. The HiResolution (HiRes) sound-processing strategy is designed to better preserve temporal fine structure, or the detailed envelope information, of an acoustic signal. The newer HiRes 120 strategy builds on HiRes by increasing the amount of potential spectral information delivered to the implant user. The purpose of this study was to examine lexical tone recognition in native Mandarin Chinese-speaking children with cochlear implants using the HiRes and HiRes 120 sound-processing strategies. Tone recognition performance was tested with HiRes at baseline and then after up to 6 mo of HiRes 120 experience in the same subjects.

DESIGN:

Twenty prelingually deafened, native Mandarin-speaking children, with ages ranging from 3.5 to 16.5 yr, participated. All children completed a computerized tone contrast test on three occasions: (1) using HiRes immediately before conversion to HiRes 120 (baseline), (2) 1 mo after conversion, and (3) 3 mo after conversion. Twelve of the 20 children also were tested 6 mo after conversion. In addition, the parents of 18 children completed a questionnaire at the 3-mo follow-up visit regarding the preference of sound-processing strategies and the children's experience related to various aspects of auditory perception and speech production using HiRes 120.

RESULTS:

As a group, no statistically significant differences were seen between the tone recognition scores using HiRes and HiRes 120. Individual scores showed great variability. Tone recognition performance ranged from chance (50% correct) to nearly perfect. Using the conventional HiRes strategy, 6 of the 20 children achieved high-level tone recognition performance (i.e., >or=90% correct), whereas 7 performed at a level not significantly different from chance (50-60% correct). At the final test, either 3 or 6 mo after conversion, all children achieved tone recognition performance with HiRes 120 that was equal to or better than that with HiRes, although some children's tone recognition performance was worse initially at the 1 or 3 mo follow-up intervals than at baseline. Eight of the 20 children showed statistically significant improvement in tone recognition performance with HiRes 120 on at least one of the follow-up tests. Age at implantation was correlated with tone recognition performance at all four test intervals. Parents of most of the children indicated that the children preferred HiRes 120 more than HiRes.

CONCLUSIONS:

As a group, HiRes 120 did not provide significantly improved lexical tone recognition compared to HiRes, at least throughout the length of the study (up to 6 mo). There were large individual differences in lexical tone recognition among the prelingually deafened, native Mandarin-speaking children with cochlear implants using either HiRes or HiRes 120. Six of the 20 children performed at or near ceiling in the baseline HiRes condition. Of the remainder, approximately half showed significantly better tone recognition when subsequently tested with HiRes 120, although the extent to which this improvement may be attributable to factors other than the change in processing strategy (e.g., general development) is unknown. The children who benefited most from HiRes 120 tended to be those who were implanted at younger ages.

PMID:
19194297
PMCID:
PMC2783178
DOI:
10.1097/AUD.0b013e31819342cf
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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