Listening Effort With Cochlear Implant Simulations PurposeFitting a cochlear implant (CI) for optimal speech perception does not necessarily optimize listening effort. This study aimed to show that listening effort may change between CI processing conditions for which speech intelligibility remains constant.MethodNineteen normal-hearing participants listened to CI simulations with varying numbers of spectral channels. A dual-task paradigm ... Article
Article  |   August 01, 2013
Listening Effort With Cochlear Implant Simulations
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Carina Pals
    University Medical Center Groningen, the Netherlands
  • Anastasios Sarampalis
    University of Groningen, the Netherlands
  • Deniz Başkent
    University Medical Center Groningen, the Netherlands
  • Correspondence to Carina Pals: c.pals@umcg.nl
  • Editor: Sid Bacon
    Editor: Sid Bacon×
  • Associate Editor: Eric Healy
    Associate Editor: Eric Healy×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Hearing
Article   |   August 01, 2013
Listening Effort With Cochlear Implant Simulations
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2013, Vol. 56, 1075-1084. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/12-0074)
History: Received March 3, 2012 , Revised August 21, 2012 , Accepted November 1, 2012
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2013, Vol. 56, 1075-1084. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/12-0074)
History: Received March 3, 2012; Revised August 21, 2012; Accepted November 1, 2012
Web of Science® Times Cited: 20

PurposeFitting a cochlear implant (CI) for optimal speech perception does not necessarily optimize listening effort. This study aimed to show that listening effort may change between CI processing conditions for which speech intelligibility remains constant.

MethodNineteen normal-hearing participants listened to CI simulations with varying numbers of spectral channels. A dual-task paradigm combining an intelligibility task with either a linguistic or nonlinguistic visual response-time (RT) task measured intelligibility and listening effort. The simultaneously performed tasks compete for limited cognitive resources; changes in effort associated with the intelligibility task are reflected in changes in RT on the visual task. A separate self-report scale provided a subjective measure of listening effort.

ResultsAll measures showed significant improvements with increasing spectral resolution up to 6 channels. However, only the RT measure of listening effort continued improving up to 8 channels. The effects were stronger for RTs recorded during listening than for RTs recorded between listening.

ConclusionThe results suggest that listening effort decreases with increased spectral resolution. Moreover, these improvements are best reflected in objective measures of listening effort, such as RTs on a secondary task, rather than intelligibility scores or subjective effort measures.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by Cochlear Ltd, Dorhout Mees, Stichting Steun Gehoorgestoorde Kind, the Heinsius Houbolt Foundation, a Rosalind Franklin Fellowship from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO, VIDI Grant 016.096.397), and the Cochlear Implant Center Northern Netherlands and is part of the research program Communication Through Hearing and Speech.
We gratefully acknowledge Thomas Lunner for his insightful suggestions concerning this research; Thomas Stainsby and Ruben Benard for their comments on earlier versions of this article; and Frits Leemhuis, Annemieke ter Harmsel, Nico Leenstra, and Marije Sleurink for their help in seeing this project through.
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