Phoneme Recognition and Confusions With Multichannel Cochlear Implants Vowels Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 2002
Phoneme Recognition and Confusions With Multichannel Cochlear Implants
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Taina T. Välimaa
    Department of Finnish, Saami and Logopedics University of Oulu Oulu, Finland
  • Taisto K. Määttä
    Department of Finnish, Saami and Logopedics University of Oulu Oulu, Finland
  • Heikki J. Löppönen
    Department of Otorhinolaryngology Oulu University Hospital University of Oulu Oulu, Finland
  • Martti J. Sorri
    Department of Otorhinolaryngology Oulu University Hospital University of Oulu Oulu, Finland
  • Contact author: Taina T. Välimaa, H M.A., Department of Finnish, Saami and Logopedics, P.O. Box 1000, FIN-90014, University of Oulu, Finland. E-mail: taina.valimaa@oulu.fi
Article Information
Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2002
Phoneme Recognition and Confusions With Multichannel Cochlear Implants
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2002, Vol. 45, 1039-1054. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2002/084)
History: Received June 15, 2001 , Accepted March 19, 2002
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2002, Vol. 45, 1039-1054. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2002/084)
History: Received June 15, 2001; Accepted March 19, 2002
Web of Science® Times Cited: 11

The aim of this study was to investigate how postlingually severely or profoundly hearing-impaired adults relearn to recognize vowels after receiving multichannel cochlear implants. Vowel recognition of 19 Finnish-speaking subjects was studied for a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 24 months using an open-set nonsense-syllable test in a prospective repeated-measure design. The responses were coded for phoneme errors, and 95% confidence intervals for recognition and confusions were calculated. The average vowel recognition was 68% (95% confidence interval = 66–70%) 6 months after switch-on and 80% (95% confidence interval = 78–82%) 24 months after switch-on. The vowels [æ], [u], [i], [o], and [a] were the easiest to recognize, and the vowels [y], [e], and [ø] were the most difficult. In conclusion, adaptation to electrical hearing using a multichannel cochlear implant was achieved well; but for at least 2 years, given two vowels with either F1 or F2 at roughly the same frequencies, confusions were drawn more towards the closest vowel with the next highest F1 or F2.

Acknowledgments
We express our warmest gratitude to the personnel of the Hearing Centre of the Oulu University Hospital for their cooperation in the collection of the data. We also thank Professor Matti Lehtihalmes, Department of Finnish, Saami and Logopedics, University of Oulu, for helpful comments on this manuscript, and Mr. Arto Muhli, Computer Services Centre, University of Oulu, for valuable advice in planning the statistical analyses. The present study was supported by grants awarded to the first author by the Finnish Cultural Foundation, by the Department of Finnish, Saami and Logopedics at the University of Oulu, and by the Oulu University Scholarship Foundation.
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