Measuring Speech Recognition in Children With Cochlear Implants in a Virtual Classroom PurposeTo determine the feasibility of using a virtual auditory test material to evaluate reverberation and noise effects on speech recognition of pediatric cochlear implant (CI) users and to compare their performance with that of children with normal hearing.MethodVirtual test materials representing nonreverberant and reverberant environments were used to measure speech ... Research Note
Research Note  |   April 01, 2012
Measuring Speech Recognition in Children With Cochlear Implants in a Virtual Classroom
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Arlene C. Neuman
    New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY
  • Marcin Wroblewski
    New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY
  • Joshua Hajicek
    New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY
  • Adrienne Rubinstein
    New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY
  • Correspondence to Arlene C. Neuman: arlene.neuman@nyumc.org
  • Editor: Sid Bacon
    Editor: Sid Bacon×
  • Associate Editor: Emily Tobey
    Associate Editor: Emily Tobey×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / School-Based Settings / Hearing
Research Note   |   April 01, 2012
Measuring Speech Recognition in Children With Cochlear Implants in a Virtual Classroom
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2012, Vol. 55, 532-540. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/11-0058)
History: Received March 7, 2011 , Accepted August 15, 2011
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2012, Vol. 55, 532-540. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/11-0058)
History: Received March 7, 2011; Accepted August 15, 2011
Web of Science® Times Cited: 4

PurposeTo determine the feasibility of using a virtual auditory test material to evaluate reverberation and noise effects on speech recognition of pediatric cochlear implant (CI) users and to compare their performance with that of children with normal hearing.

MethodVirtual test materials representing nonreverberant and reverberant environments were used to measure speech recognition of 7 children with CIs in quiet and in noise, and of 18 children with normal hearing in the quiet condition. Performance of CI users in noise (signal-to-noise ratio resulting in 50% performance) was compared to normative data from a previous study (Neuman, Wroblewski, Hajicek, & Rubinstein, 2010). For CI users, stimuli were sent directly to the CI speech processor via auxiliary input, whereas children with normal hearing were tested using insert phones.

ResultsThe speech recognition of children with CIs decreased significantly in the reverberant condition. There were individual differences in susceptibility to reverberation. Children with CIs also required higher signal-to-noise ratios than children with normal hearing in the reverberant condition.

ConclusionDirect connect testing with reverberant test materials allows assessment of speech recognition under conditions typical of classrooms and could be useful in identifying children with CIs whose performance decreases significantly in the presence of reverberation and noise.

Acknowledgments
The research reported in this article was supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research Grant H133E03006. The content of this article does not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education, and the reader should not assume endorsement by the U.S. federal government.
We thank Frank Iglehart of the Clarke School for the Deaf for providing access to the classroom and for advice on placement of the absorptive panels used during the recording process. Mario Svirsky and Chin-Tuan Tan provided technical guidance, and the Cochlear Corporation provided technical information required for implementing direct-connect testing. We are grateful to Susan Waltzman and William Shapiro of the New York University Cochlear Implant Center for facilitating the study and to the clinicians who helped recruit participants. Finally, we thank the children (and their parents) for participating in the study.
Etymotic Research provided ER-6i earphones and eartips for testing the children with normal hearing. The Cochlear Corporation provided TV/hi-fi cables for the study.
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