Investigating the effects of stimulus duration and context on pitch perception by cochlear implant users.
Cochlear implant sound processing strategies that use time-varying pulse rates to transmit fine structure information are one proposed method for improving the spectral representation of a sound with the eventual goal of improving speech recognition in noisy conditions, speech recognition in tonal languages, and music identification and appreciation. However, many of the perceptual phenomena associated with time-varying rates are not well understood. In this study, the effects of stimulus duration on both the place and rate-pitch percepts were investigated via psychophysical experiments. Four Nucleus CI24 cochlear implant users participated in these experiments, which included a short-duration pitch ranking task and three adaptive pulse rate discrimination tasks. When duration was fixed from trial-to-trial and rate was varied adaptively, results suggested that both the place-pitch and rate-pitch percepts may be independent of duration for durations above 10 and 20 ms, respectively. When duration was varied and pulse rates were fixed, performance was highly variable within and across subjects. Implications for multi-rate sound processing strategies are discussed.
Stohl, JS; Throckmorton, CS; Collins, LM
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