Comparison of electrode discrimination, pitch ranking, and pitch scaling data in postlingually deafened adult cochlear implant subjects.
The goal of this study was to investigate the relationship between variation in electrode site of stimulation and the perceptual dimensions along which such stimuli vary. This information may allow more effective use of electrode place when encoding speech information. To achieve this goal, two procedures which measure pitch in subjects implanted with the Nucleus/Cochlear Corporation multichannel device were performed. Estimates of electrode discriminability that can be obtained from these procedures were compared to a more direct measure of electrode discriminability that was obtained in a previous study [Collins et al., Assoc. Res. Otolaryng. Abstracts, No. 642 (1994)]. In the first task, subjects performed a pitch ranking procedure similar to that used in previous studies [Townshend et al., J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 82, 106-115 (1987); Nelson et al., J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 98, 1987-1999 (1995)]. Estimates of the pitch percept elicited by stimulation of each electrode as well as the discriminability of the electrodes were generated from the data using two different statistical analyses. In the second task, subjects performed a pitch scaling procedure similar to one used in a previous study [Busby et al., J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 95, 2658-2669 (1994)]. Again, two different statistical analyses were performed to generate estimates of the pitch percept corresponding to stimulation of each electrode and to generate estimates of electrode discriminability. In general, the estimates of the relationships between the pitch percepts obtained from the two procedures were not identical. In addition, the estimates of electrode discriminability were not equivalent to the electrode discrimination measures obtained from the same subjects during the previous study. Signal detection theory has been used to model the decision processes required by each of the procedures described above [e.g., Jesteadt and Bilger, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 55, 1266-1276 (1974)]. However, these models do not predict the differences that were observed between the data sets obtained during this study. An alternate model is proposed which may explain the data obtained from these subjects. This model is based on the assumption that the percept that is elicited by electrical stimulation of an electrode is multidimensional, as opposed to unidimensional in nature. Therefore, the perceived signal is more appropriately modeled using a multidimensional random vector, where each element of the vector represents the perceived value of one of the dimensions of the signal.
Collins, LM; Zwolan, TA; Wakefield, GH
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