Gender Categorization in Cochlear Implant Users PurposeIn this study, the authors examined the ability of subjects with cochlear implants (CIs) to discriminate voice gender and how this ability evolved as a function of CI experience.MethodThe authors presented a continuum of voice samples created by voice morphing, with 9 intermediate acoustic parameter steps between a typical male ... Article
Article  |   October 01, 2013
Gender Categorization in Cochlear Implant Users
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Zoé Massida
    Université Toulouse, CerCo, Université Paul Sabatier, France
  • Mathieu Marx
    Université Toulouse, CerCo, Université Paul Sabatier, France
  • Pascal Belin
    Voice Neurocognition Laboratory, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom
  • Christopher James
    Cochlear France, Toulouse
  • Bernard Fraysse
    Service Oto-Rhino-Laryngologie et Oto-Neurologie, Hopital Purpan, Toulouse, France
  • Pascal Barone
    Université Toulouse, CerCo, Université Paul Sabatier, France
  • Olivier Deguine
    Université Toulouse, CerCo, Université Paul Sabatier, France
  • Correspondence to Pascal Barone: pascal.barone@cerco.ups-tlse.fr
  • Zoé Massida and Mathieu Marx contributed equally to this work.
    Zoé Massida and Mathieu Marx contributed equally to this work.×
  • Editor: Craig Champlin
    Editor: Craig Champlin×
  • Associate Editor: Eric Healy
    Associate Editor: Eric Healy×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing
Article   |   October 01, 2013
Gender Categorization in Cochlear Implant Users
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2013, Vol. 56, 1389-1401. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2013/12-0132)
History: Received April 19, 2012 , Revised September 27, 2012 , Accepted February 23, 2013
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2013, Vol. 56, 1389-1401. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2013/12-0132)
History: Received April 19, 2012; Revised September 27, 2012; Accepted February 23, 2013
Web of Science® Times Cited: 12

PurposeIn this study, the authors examined the ability of subjects with cochlear implants (CIs) to discriminate voice gender and how this ability evolved as a function of CI experience.

MethodThe authors presented a continuum of voice samples created by voice morphing, with 9 intermediate acoustic parameter steps between a typical male and a typical female. This method allowed for the evaluation of gender categorization not only when acoustical features were specific to gender but also for more ambiguous cases, when fundamental frequency or formant distribution were located between typical values.

ResultsResults showed a global, though variable, deficit for voice gender categorization in CI recipients compared with subjects with normal hearing. This deficit was stronger for ambiguous stimuli in the voice continuum: Average performance scores for CI users were 58% lower than average scores for subjects with normal hearing in cases of ambiguous stimuli and 19% lower for typical male and female voices. The authors found no significant improvement in voice gender categorization with CI experience.

ConclusionsThese results emphasize the dissociation between recovery of speech recognition and voice feature perception after cochlear implantation. This large and durable deficit may be related to spectral and temporal degradation induced by CI sound coding, or it may be related to central voice processing deficits.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by a Cifre Convention to Z. Massida (Cochlear France SAS-ANRT N°979/2006), the ANR Plasmody (ANR-06-Neuro-021-04 to P. Barone and O. Deguine), The DRCI Toulouse (Direction de la Recherche Clinique et de l'Innovation to M. Marx), the recurrent funding of the CNRS (to O. Deguine and P. Barone), and by BBSRC grant BB/E003958/1 to P. Belin. We thank all of the subjects for their participation in this study, M. L. Laborde for help in collecting the data, C. Marlot for help with the references, and J. Rouger for help in analysis of the data.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access