Simulating the Effects of Spread of Electric Excitation on Musical Tuning and Melody Identification With a Cochlear Implant Purpose To determine why, in a pilot study, only 1 of 11 cochlear implant listeners was able to reliably identify a frequency-to-electrode map where the intervals of a familiar melody were played on the correct musical scale. The authors sought to validate their method and to assess the effect of ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 2008
Simulating the Effects of Spread of Electric Excitation on Musical Tuning and Melody Identification With a Cochlear Implant
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Anthony J. Spahr
    Arizona State University, Tempe
  • Leonid M. Litvak
    Advanced Bionics Corporation, Sylmar, CA
  • Michael F. Dorman
    Arizona State University, Tempe
  • Ashley R. Bohanan
    Arizona State University, Tempe
  • Lakshmi N. Mishra
    Advanced Bionics Corporation
  • Disclosure Statement
    Disclosure Statement×
    This research was supported by Advanced Bionics Corporation (Sylmar, CA) through a sponsored project with Arizona State University. The first author also serves as a research consultant for Advanced Bionics Corporation and received a consulting fee for his work on this project.
    This research was supported by Advanced Bionics Corporation (Sylmar, CA) through a sponsored project with Arizona State University. The first author also serves as a research consultant for Advanced Bionics Corporation and received a consulting fee for his work on this project.×
  • Contact author: Anthony J. Spahr, Department of Speech and Hearing Science, Arizona State University, Lattie F. Coor Hall, Room 3462, Tempe, AZ 85287-0102. E-mail: tspahr@asu.edu.
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 2008
Simulating the Effects of Spread of Electric Excitation on Musical Tuning and Melody Identification With a Cochlear Implant
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2008, Vol. 51, 1599-1606. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/07-0254)
History: Received November 17, 2007 , Revised March 3, 2008 , Accepted March 23, 2008
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2008, Vol. 51, 1599-1606. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/07-0254)
History: Received November 17, 2007; Revised March 3, 2008; Accepted March 23, 2008
Web of Science® Times Cited: 11

Purpose To determine why, in a pilot study, only 1 of 11 cochlear implant listeners was able to reliably identify a frequency-to-electrode map where the intervals of a familiar melody were played on the correct musical scale. The authors sought to validate their method and to assess the effect of pitch strength on musical scale recognition in normal-hearing listeners.

Method Musical notes were generated as either sine waves or spectrally shaped noise bands, with a center frequency equal to that of a desired note and symmetrical (log-scale) reduction in amplitude away from the center frequency. The rate of amplitude reduction was manipulated to vary pitch strength of the notes and to simulate different degrees of current spread. The effect of the simulated degree of current spread was assessed on tasks of musical tuning/scaling, melody recognition, and frequency discrimination.

Results Normal-hearing listeners could accurately and reliably identify the appropriate musical scale when stimuli were sine waves or steeply sloping noise bands. Simulating greater current spread degraded performance on all tasks.

Conclusions Cochlear implant listeners with an auditory memory of a familiar melody could likely identify an appropriate frequency-to-electrode map but only in cases where the pitch strength of the electrically produced notes is very high.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) Grant R01 DC-000654-14 to MFD and by Advanced Bionics Corporation Grant PRT-0002 to Arizona State University.
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