Do Adults With Cochlear Implants Rely on Different Acoustic Cues for Phoneme Perception Than Adults With Normal Hearing? PurposeSeveral acoustic cues specify any single phonemic contrast. Nonetheless, adult, native speakers of a language share weighting strategies, showing preferential attention to some properties over others. Cochlear implant (CI) signal processing disrupts the salience of some cues: In general, amplitude structure remains readily available, but spectral structure less so. This ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2014
Do Adults With Cochlear Implants Rely on Different Acoustic Cues for Phoneme Perception Than Adults With Normal Hearing?
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Aaron C. Moberly
    Wexner Medical Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Joanna H. Lowenstein
    Wexner Medical Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Eric Tarr
    Wexner Medical Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Amanda Caldwell-Tarr
    Wexner Medical Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • D. Bradley Welling
    Wexner Medical Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Antoine J. Shahin
    Wexner Medical Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Susan Nittrouer
    Wexner Medical Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Disclosure:The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure:The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Aaron C. Moberly: Aaron.Moberly@osumc.edu
  • Editor: Craig Champlin
    Editor: Craig Champlin×
  • Associate Editor: Charissa Lansing
    Associate Editor: Charissa Lansing×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing
Research Article   |   April 01, 2014
Do Adults With Cochlear Implants Rely on Different Acoustic Cues for Phoneme Perception Than Adults With Normal Hearing?
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2014, Vol. 57, 566-582. doi:10.1044/2014_JSLHR-H-12-0323
History: Received October 11, 2012 , Revised March 28, 2013 , Accepted July 24, 2013
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2014, Vol. 57, 566-582. doi:10.1044/2014_JSLHR-H-12-0323
History: Received October 11, 2012; Revised March 28, 2013; Accepted July 24, 2013
Web of Science® Times Cited: 16

PurposeSeveral acoustic cues specify any single phonemic contrast. Nonetheless, adult, native speakers of a language share weighting strategies, showing preferential attention to some properties over others. Cochlear implant (CI) signal processing disrupts the salience of some cues: In general, amplitude structure remains readily available, but spectral structure less so. This study asked how well speech recognition is supported if CI users shift attention to salient cues not weighted strongly by native speakers.

MethodTwenty adults with CIs participated. The /bɑ/-/wɑ/ contrast was used because spectral and amplitude structure varies in correlated fashion for this contrast. Adults with normal hearing weight the spectral cue strongly but the amplitude cue negligibly. Three measurements were made: labeling decisions, spectral and amplitude discrimination, and word recognition.

ResultsOutcomes varied across listeners: Some weighted the spectral cue strongly, some weighted the amplitude cue, and some weighted neither. Spectral discrimination predicted spectral weighting. Spectral weighting explained the most variance in word recognition. Age of onset of hearing loss predicted spectral weighting but not unique variance in word recognition.

ConclusionThe weighting strategies of listeners with normal hearing likely support speech recognition best, so efforts in implant design, fitting, and training should focus on developing those strategies.

Acknowledgments
Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders of the National Institutes of Health under award number R01DC000633 to the last author. Portions of this work were presented at the 12th International Conference on Cochlear Implants and Other Implantable Auditory Technologies, Baltimore, MD, May 2012.
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