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J Acoust Soc Am. 2012 Aug;132(2):994-1008. doi: 10.1121/1.4730907.

Psychophysically based site selection coupled with dichotic stimulation improves speech recognition in noise with bilateral cochlear implants.

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  • 1Kresge Hearing Research Institute, Department of Otolaryngology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-5616, USA.


The ability to perceive important features of electrical stimulation varies across stimulation sites within a multichannel implant. The aim of this study was to optimize speech processor MAPs for bilateral implant users by identifying and removing sites with poor psychophysical performance. The psychophysical assessment involved amplitude-modulation detection with and without a masker, and a channel interaction measure quantified as the elevation in modulation detection thresholds in the presence of the masker. Three experimental MAPs were created on an individual-subject basis using data from one of the three psychophysical measures. These experimental MAPs improved the mean psychophysical acuity across the electrode array and provided additional advantages such as increasing spatial separations between electrodes and/or preserving frequency resolution. All 8 subjects showed improved speech recognition in noise with one or more experimental MAPs over their everyday-use clinical MAP. For most subjects, phoneme and sentence recognition in noise were significantly improved by a dichotic experimental MAP that provided better mean psychophysical acuity, a balanced distribution of selected stimulation sites, and preserved frequency resolution. The site-selection strategies serve as useful tools for evaluating the importance of psychophysical acuities needed for good speech recognition in implant users.

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