Medicine (St Vincent's) - Theses

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    Developing and evaluating a multimodal musical training method to improve music perception in cochlear implant users
    Liu, Timothy James ( 2014)
    The present study investigated the efficacy of a multimodal approach to musical training to improve melody perception in cochlear implant recipients. Five post-lingually deaf cochlear implant recipients were trained for a duration of two weeks with take-home training software for computer tablets. The software included a keyboard interface which facilitated learning of familiar melodies and a closed-set melody recognition task founded on the melodies learnt. The Modified Melodies Test was used to measure melody perceptual skills before and after training. A statistically non-significant trend of improvement (p = 0.173) was found between pretest and posttest overall scores of the Modified Melodies Test. However, limitations imposed on psychometric scoring in the Modified Melodies Test resulted in alternative scoring methods that did not allow conclusions to be aptly applied to melody perceptual skills. Furthermore, the present study had a small sample size that resulted in low statistical power and also prevented a planned comparison of multimodal training to a reference of unimodal training that incorporated listening tasks only. As such, there was insufficient evidence to evaluate the importance of the multimodal approach to musical training in cochlear implant users. While firm conclusions were not drawn from the results, the present study has explored various aspects of its training software and the Modified Melodies Test that could pilot a future comprehensive study of multimodal musical training effects on cochlear implant music perception.