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J Acoust Soc Am. 2012 Aug;132(2):1009-16.

Musical background not associated with self-perceived hearing performance or speech perception in postlingual cochlear-implant users.

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Department of Otorhinolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.


In normal-hearing listeners, musical background has been observed to change the sound representation in the auditory system and produce enhanced performance in some speech perception tests. Based on these observations, it has been hypothesized that musical background can influence sound and speech perception, and as an extension also the quality of life, by cochlear-implant users. To test this hypothesis, this study explored musical background [using the Dutch Musical Background Questionnaire (DMBQ)], and self-perceived sound and speech perception and quality of life [using the Nijmegen Cochlear Implant Questionnaire (NCIQ) and the Speech Spatial and Qualities of Hearing Scale (SSQ)] in 98 postlingually deafened adult cochlear-implant recipients. In addition to self-perceived measures, speech perception scores (percentage of phonemes recognized in words presented in quiet) were obtained from patient records. The self-perceived hearing performance was associated with the objective speech perception. Forty-one respondents (44% of 94 respondents) indicated some form of formal musical training. Fifteen respondents (18% of 83 respondents) judged themselves as having musical training, experience, and knowledge. No association was observed between musical background (quantified by DMBQ), and self-perceived hearing-related performance or quality of life (quantified by NCIQ and SSQ), or speech perception in quiet.

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