Music Perception of Adolescents Using Electroacoustic Hearing

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Abstract

Background:

Preserved residual hearing in adult recipients of short electrode cochlear implants (CIs) contributes to improve perception of speech in noise as well as music. Recently, children and adolescents with sufficient low-frequency hearing but profound loss at higher frequencies enrolled in a FDA trial intended to evaluate the benefit of a short electrode device on the maintenance of residual hearing. This article reports on the perception of several music listening tasks by adolescents using electroacoustic hearing.

Methods:

Five adolescents (13–18 yr) with 18–24 months of electroacoustic experience, 73 children (LEC) and adolescents (LEA) who use traditional implants, and 87 children with normal hearing (NH) tested on 3 measures of music perception: Complex Pitch Ranking (PR-C); Melodic Error Detection (MED); Melody Recognition X Information Cue (MRIC). The participants with ipsilateral residual hearing were tested preoperatively at intervals up to 24 months.

Results:

Pitch ranking scores for the electroacoustic group were significantly better than the LEC and LEA (p < 0.0002 and p = 0.0076, respectively) and were not significantly different from the NH group. On the MED, although scores were more accurate than those of the LEC and LEA groups, they were not significantly better. For the MRIC, the electroacoustic group was significantly better than both LEA and LEC on melody with and without rhythm. NH subjects were significantly better than both LE groups, but not the electroacoustic group.

Conclusion:

Low-frequency information available to electroacoustic users was associated with more accurate perception on three pitch-based music listening tasks. Greater residual hearing during auditory development may also contribute to more “normal” mental representation of musical elements.

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