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J Acoust Soc Am. 2013 Jun;133(6):4279-89. doi: 10.1121/1.4803910.

The role of first formant information in simulated electro-acoustic hearing.

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Hearing and Balance Centre, Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton SO16 7ES, United Kingdom.


Cochlear implant (CI) recipients with residual hearing show improved performance with the addition of low-frequency acoustic stimulation (electro-acoustic stimulation, EAS). The present study sought to determine whether a synthesized first formant (F1) signal provided benefit to speech recognition in simulated EAS hearing and to compare such benefit with that from other low-frequency signals. A further aim was to determine if F1 amplitude or frequency was more important in determining benefit and if F1 benefit varied with formant bandwidth. In two experiments, sentence recordings from a male speaker were processed via a simulation of a partial insertion CI, and presented to normal hearing listeners in combination with various low-frequency signals, including a tone tracking fundamental frequency (F0), low-pass filtered speech, and signals based on F1 estimation. A simulated EAS benefit was found with F1 signals, and was similar to the benefit from F0 or low-pass filtered speech. The benefit did not differ significantly with the narrowing or widening of the F1 bandwidth. The benefit from low-frequency envelope signals was significantly less than the benefit from any low-frequency signal containing fine frequency information. Results indicate that F1 provides a benefit in simulated EAS hearing but low frequency envelope information is less important than low frequency fine structure in determining such benefit.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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