Investigation of the effects of temporal and spatial interactions on speech-recognition skills in cochlear-implant subjects.
Forward masking was investigated as a measure of spectral and temporal interactions. Such interactions may adversely affect speech recognition in cochlear-implant subjects. Seven subjects, implanted with the Nucleus 22 device, performed a forward-masking task. They also performed an electrode-discrimination task in order to measure spectral interactions without temporal interactions. Correlation analysis indicated a significant relationship between data obtained in the two tasks (p < 0.1). The two tasks were also correlated with the subjects' scores from five measures of speech recognition. Forward masking and electrode discrimination were strongly correlated with measures requiring consonant and phoneme recognition, respectively. These results indicate that the relationship between forward masking and speech recognition may be due, in part, to a lack of spectral resolution. The data also indicate that consonants may be more readily masked than vowels. Forward-masking data measured for all clinically programmed electrodes in three of the seven subjects were used with a model of the spectral maxima sound processor (SMSP) to estimate the number of electrodes stimulated during a consonant that might be masked by prior presentation of a vowel. These results suggest that temporal interactions across electrodes may be a factor in speech-recognition abilities of some cochlear-implant subjects.
Throckmorton, CS; Collins, LM
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