Comparison of Two Methods for Selecting Minimum Stimulation Levels Used in Programming the Nucleus 22 Cochlear Implant Minimum stimulation levels for active electrodes in a Nucleus 22 cochlear implant were set at threshold (clinical default value) and raised levels (M=+2.04 dB) to determine if raised levels would improve recipients' understanding of soft speech sounds with the SPEAK speech coding strategy. Eight postlinguistically deaf adults participated in a ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 1999
Comparison of Two Methods for Selecting Minimum Stimulation Levels Used in Programming the Nucleus 22 Cochlear Implant
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Margaret W. Skinner
    Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis, MO
  • Laura K. Holden
    Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis, MO
  • Timothy A. Holden
    Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis, MO
  • Marilyn E. Demorest
    University of Maryland, Baltimore County Baltimore
  • Contact author: Margaret W. Skinner, Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 South Euclid Avenue, Box 8115, St. Louis, MO 63110.
    Contact author: Margaret W. Skinner, Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 South Euclid Avenue, Box 8115, St. Louis, MO 63110.×
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: skinnerm@msnotes.wustl.edu
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Audiologic / Aural Rehabilitation / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 1999
Comparison of Two Methods for Selecting Minimum Stimulation Levels Used in Programming the Nucleus 22 Cochlear Implant
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1999, Vol. 42, 814-828. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4204.814
History: Received August 13, 1998 , Accepted February 26, 1999
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1999, Vol. 42, 814-828. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4204.814
History: Received August 13, 1998; Accepted February 26, 1999

Minimum stimulation levels for active electrodes in a Nucleus 22 cochlear implant were set at threshold (clinical default value) and raised levels (M=+2.04 dB) to determine if raised levels would improve recipients' understanding of soft speech sounds with the SPEAK speech coding strategy. Eight postlinguistically deaf adults participated in a 4-phase A1B1A2B2, test design. Speech recognition was evaluated with consonant-vowel nucleus-consonant (CNC) words in quiet and sentences in noise, both presented at 50, 60, and 70 dB SPL during 2 weekly sessions at the end of each phase. Group mean scores were significantly higher with the raised level program for words and phonemes at 50 and 60 dB SPL and for sentences at 50 and 70 dB SPL. All participants chose to use the raised level program in everyday life at the end of the study. The results suggest that clinical use of a raised level program for Nucleus 22 recipients has the potential to make soft sounds louder and, therefore, more salient in everyday life. Further research is needed to determine if this approach is appropriate for other cochlear implant devices.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Parts of this paper were presented as a poster at the American Academy of Audiology Convention in Los Angeles, California, April 2–5, 1998. This research was supported by Grant R01 DC00581 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Appreciation is expressed to the 8 participants who graciously gave their time and extraordinary effort to compete this investigation. We are grateful to Peter Seligman for information on the function of the Spectra 22 speech processor and to Arthur Boothroyd, Brian C. J. Moore, Charissa Lansing, and Sandra Gordon-Salant for their valuable critiques of previous drafts of this paper.
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