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J Acoust Soc Am. 1994 Oct;96(4):2048-54.

Low-pass filtering in amplitude modulation detection associated with vowel and consonant identification in subjects with cochlear implants.

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Laboratoire d'Audiologie Expérimentale, Inserm unité 229, Université Bordeaux II, Hôpital Pellegrin, Bordeaux, France.


Temporal auditory analysis of acoustic events in various frequency channels is influenced by the ability to detect amplitude modulations which for normal hearing involves low-pass filtering with a cutoff frequency around 100 Hz and a rejection slope of about 10 dB per decade. These characteristics were established in previous studies measuring modulation transfer functions. For cochlear implant subjects, the delivery of detailed amplitude modulation information has been recently shown to result in very significant improvements in speech understanding. Several previous studies on cochlear implant subjects have reported capacities for temporal resolution rather equivalent to those of normally hearing subjects but with some notable individual differences. Recently two studies on some cochlear implant subjects indicated modulation transfer functions often quite similar to those of normal hearing but exhibiting marked individual differences in shape and absolute sensitivity. The present study compared amplitude modulation detection and phonetic recognition in a group of cochlear implant subjects to determine the extent to which the two tasks are correlated. Nine individuals who had been implanted with an Ineraid device and who demonstrated open speech understanding ranging from excellent to poor were chosen and tested in the present study. For each subject modulation transfer functions were measured at the most apical electrode and phonetic recognition of isolated vowels and intervocalic consonants was assessed. Results showed a strong correlation between the depth of high-frequency rejection in modulation transfer functions and success in vowel and consonant intelligibility. These results emphasize the importance of temporal speech features and offer perspectives for customizing signal processing in cochlear implants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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