Maximizing the Spectral and Temporal Benefits of Two Clinically Used Sound Processing Strategies for Cochlear Implants

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Previous work showed that the Fidelity120 processing strategy provides better spectral sensitivity, while the HiResolution processing strategy can deliver more detailed temporal information for Advanced Bionics cochlear implant users. The goal of this study was to develop a new sound processing strategy by maximizing the spectral benefit of Fidelity120 and the temporal benefit of HiResolution to improve both aspects of hearing. Using acoustic simulations of Fidelity120 and HiResolution strategies, a dual-processing strategy was created by combining Fidelity120 in the low frequency channels and HiResolution in the high frequency channels. Compared to Fidelity120, the dual processing provided an improvement in performance for Schroeder-phase discrimination at 200 Hz and temporal modulation detection at 200 Hz with the cost of a slightly decreased performance for spectral-ripple discrimination relative to Fidelity120. Spectral-ripple discrimination was better with the dual processing than with HiResolution. However, no benefit for speech perception in noise was found for the dual-processing strategy over Fidelity 120 or HiResolution in our preliminary tests. Some other more optimal combination of Fidelity120 and HiResolution may be required to maximize the spectral and temporal benefits to yield improved speech perception.

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