Temporal processing and speech recognition in cochlear implant users


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Abstract

Although the speech recognition performance of cochlear implant patients has steadily improved in recent years, considerable variability remains in implant patient outcomes. Here, we report on a correlation between cochlear implant patients' auditory temporal processing and speech recognition abilities. Modulation detection thresholds were measured as a function of stimulation level; phoneme recognition was also assessed. Results showed marked individual differences in the shape and absolute sensitivity of subjects' modulation threshold functions. Statistical analysis revealed a strong correlation between phoneme recognition scores and subjects' mean modulation thresholds, demonstrating the contribution of temporal processing to implant speech perception. In correlating a basic psychophysical measure to speech performance, these results should contribute toward improved speech processor design and rehabilitation tools for cochlear implant patients.

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