Objective assessment of electrode discrimination with the auditory change complex in adult cochlear implant users

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The spatial auditory change complex (ACC) is a cortical response elicited by a change in place of stimulation. There is growing evidence that it provides a useful objective measure of electrode discrimination in cochlear implant (CI) users. To date, the spatial ACC has only been measured in relatively experienced CI users with one type of device. Early assessment of electrode discrimination could allow auditory stimulation to be optimized during a potentially sensitive period of auditory rehabilitation. In this study we used a direct stimulation paradigm to measure the spatial ACC in both pre- and post-lingually deafened adults. We show that it is feasible to measure the spatial ACC in different CI devices and as early as 1 week after CI switch-on. The spatial ACC has a strong relationship with performance on a behavioural discrimination task and in some cases provides information over and above behavioural testing. We suggest that it may be useful to measure the spatial ACC to guide auditory rehabilitation and improve hearing performance in CI users.HIGHLIGHTSThe spatial ACC can be measured in different CI devices.It can be measured as early as 1-week after switch-on.It has a strong relationship with behavioural electrode discrimination.May be present despite poor behavioural discrimination in prelingually deaf adults.

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