Speech Understanding in Complex Listening Environments by Listeners Fit With Cochlear Implants Purpose The aim of this article is to summarize recent published and unpublished research from our 2 laboratories on improving speech understanding in complex listening environments by listeners fit with cochlear implants (CIs). Method CI listeners were tested in 2 listening environments. One was a simulation of a ... Review Article
Review Article  |   October 17, 2017
Speech Understanding in Complex Listening Environments by Listeners Fit With Cochlear Implants
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Michael F. Dorman
    Department of Speech and Hearing Science, Arizona State University, Tempe
  • Rene H. Gifford
    Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
  • 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 Michael F. Dorman: mdorman@asu.edu
  • Editor-in-Chief: Frederick (Erick) Gallun
    Editor-in-Chief: Frederick (Erick) Gallun×
  • Editor: Karen Helfer
    Editor: Karen Helfer×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Research Forum: Advances in Research on Auditory Attention and the Processing of Complex Auditory Stimuli / Review Articles
Review Article   |   October 17, 2017
Speech Understanding in Complex Listening Environments by Listeners Fit With Cochlear Implants
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2017, Vol. 60, 3019-3026. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-H-17-0035
History: Received February 17, 2017 , Revised April 4, 2017 , Accepted April 11, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2017, Vol. 60, 3019-3026. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-H-17-0035
History: Received February 17, 2017; Revised April 4, 2017; Accepted April 11, 2017

Purpose The aim of this article is to summarize recent published and unpublished research from our 2 laboratories on improving speech understanding in complex listening environments by listeners fit with cochlear implants (CIs).

Method CI listeners were tested in 2 listening environments. One was a simulation of a restaurant with multiple, diffuse noise sources, and the other was a cocktail party with 2 spatially separated point sources of competing speech. At issue was the value of the following sources of information, or interventions, on speech understanding: (a) visual information, (b) adaptive beamformer microphones and remote microphones, (c) bimodal fittings, that is, a CI and contralateral low-frequency acoustic hearing, (d) hearing preservation fittings, that is, a CI with preserved low-frequency acoustic in the same ear plus low-frequency acoustic hearing in the contralateral ear, and (e) bilateral CIs.

Results A remote microphone provided the largest improvement in speech understanding. Visual information and adaptive beamformers ranked next, while bimodal fittings, bilateral fittings, and hearing preservation provided significant but less benefit than the other interventions or sources of information. Only bilateral CIs allowed listeners high levels of speech understanding when signals were roved over the frontal plane.

Conclusions The evidence supports the use of bilateral CIs and hearing preservation surgery for best speech understanding in complex environments. These fittings, when combined with visual information and microphone technology, should lead to high levels of speech understanding by CI patients in complex listening environments.

Presentation Video http://cred.pubs.asha.org/article.aspx?articleid=2601622

Acknowledgments
The Research Symposium is supported by the National Institute On Deafness and Other Communication Disorders of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R13DC003383. This work was supported by Grant R01 DC 008329 awarded to Michael F. Dorman and Grants R01 DC 009404 and DC 010821 awarded to Rene H. Gifford from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
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