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J Acoust Soc Am. 2012 Aug;132(2):1113-9. doi: 10.1121/1.4726013.

The ability of cochlear implant users to use temporal envelope cues recovered from speech frequency modulation.

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Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996, USA.


Previous studies have demonstrated that normal-hearing listeners can understand speech using the recovered "temporal envelopes," i.e., amplitude modulation (AM) cues from frequency modulation (FM). This study evaluated this mechanism in cochlear implant (CI) users for consonant identification. Stimuli containing only FM cues were created using 1, 2, 4, and 8-band FM-vocoders to determine if consonant identification performance would improve as the recovered AM cues become more available. A consistent improvement was observed as the band number decreased from 8 to 1, supporting the hypothesis that (1) the CI sound processor generates recovered AM cues from broadband FM, and (2) CI users can use the recovered AM cues to recognize speech. The correlation between the intact and the recovered AM components at the output of the sound processor was also generally higher when the band number was low, supporting the consonant identification results. Moreover, CI subjects who were better at using recovered AM cues from broadband FM cues showed better identification performance with intact (unprocessed) speech stimuli. This suggests that speech perception performance variability in CI users may be partly caused by differences in their ability to use AM cues recovered from FM speech cues.

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