Speech perception and sound localization by adults with bilateral cochlear implants
Adult patients with bilateral cochlear implants report a significant gain in health-related quality of life relative to having a single cochlear implant. Gains are found in multiple domainsin this article, we focus on hearing and speech understanding. There are several factors that likely contribute to the hearing-related gain in quality of life. The provision of bilateral implants improves the probability that (1) if there are large between-ear differences in speech recognition, then the ear with the best recognition ability will be stimulated; (2) patients will benefit from the head shadow effect, which provides large gains in speech intelligibility; (3) patients will receive the relatively smaller benefits due to summation and squelch; and (4) patients will be able to better localize sound sources in the horizontal plane by using interaural-level difference cues. It is reasonable to suppose that these improvements in performance combine to reduce the stress that is associated with listening via electrical stimulation and thereby improve hearing-related quality of life. Copyright © 2011 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc.
Dorman, MF; Yost, WA; Wilson, BS; Gifford, RH
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