Graeme Clark Collection

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    A comparison of a new prototype Tickle Talker with a Tactaid 7
    Galvin, Karyn L. ; Ginis, Jan ; Cowan, Robert S. C. ; Blamey, Peter J. ; Clark, Graeme M. ( 2001)
    This study compared the speech perception enhancement provided by two multichannel tactile aids: a new version of the Tickle TalkerT™ and the Tactaid 7. The subjects' impression of benefit was also examined. In an AB pattern, six adults with hearing impairment used each device daily for approximately 18 weeks and attended 12 training sessions. When tactile information was provided, the group demonstrated a significant enhancement for the perception of words (mean 17.2%) and phonemes (mean 12.9%) in monosyllabic word lists, words in sentences (mean 14.2%) and speech tracking (mean 7.7 wpm). The Tactaid 7 provided a significantly greater enhancement for the perception of words (21 % versus 13.4%), phonemes (16.7% versus 9.1%) and some speech features in monosyllabic word lists. Subjective ratings were slightly higher for the Tactaid 7, and four subjects preferred this device. Either device may be suitable for those not able or willing to have a cochlear implant.
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    The development of speech perception in children using cochlear implants: effects of etiologic factors and delayed milestones
    PYMAN, BRIAN ; Blamey, Peter J. ; Lacy, Peter ; Clark, Graeme M. ; DOWELL, RICHARD ( 2000)
    Hypothesis: Speech perception outcomes for cochlear implantation of children vary over a wide range, and it is hypothesized that central pathologic states associated with certain causes of hearing impairment account for a substantial part of the variance. Study Design: A retrospective analysis was carried out to ascertain the relationships between speech perception, etiologic factors, and central pathologic states as indicated by preoperative delayed motor milestones and/or cognitive delays. Setting: Data were obtained from the pre-and postoperative records of patients attending a hospital cochlear implant clinic. Patients: Results for 75 consecutive patients up to age 5 years who underwent implantation were included in the study. Intervention: Patients received a 22-electrode cochlear prosthesis and were seen by the clinic for regular tune-up and assessments. Home-and school-based habilitation was recommended by the clinic. Main Outcome Measures: Speech perception measures were classified on a five-point scale to allow for different evaluation procedures at different ages and developmental stages. Results: The incidence of motor and cognitive delays were fairly evenly spread across etiologic factors, except for cytomegalovirus, which had a much higher than average incidence. Children with motor and/or cognitive delays were significantly slower than other children in the development of speech perception skills after implantation. Etiologic factors did not have a statistically significant effect on speech perception outcome. Conclusions: It is likely that central pathologic states account for a substantial part of the variance among children using cochlear implants. Specific indicators of central pathologic states should be used to assess a child's prognosis in preference to less specific information based on etiologic factors alone.
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    A clinical report on receptive vocabulary skills in cochlear implant users
    Dawson, P. W. ; Blamey, P. J. ; Dettman, S. J. ; Barker, E. J. ; Clark, Graeme M. ( 1995)
    Objective: The aim was to measure the rate of vocabulary acquisition for cochlear implant users and compare the pre- and postoperative rates with published data for other groups with normal or impaired hearing. The hypothesis was that the postoperative rate would be greater than the preoperative rate. Design: The Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT) was administered to 32 children, adolescents, and prelinguistically deafened adults implanted with the 22-electrode cochlear implant. Age at implantation ranged from 2 y r 6 mo to 20 yr and implant use ranged from 6 mo to 7 yr 8 mo. Results: The group mean postoperative performance at various postoperative intervals was significantly higher than mean preoperative performance. Single-subject data indicated statistically significant gains over time on this test for 13 of the subjects. The mean postoperative rate of vocabulary acquisition of 1.06 times the rate for normally hearing children was significantly greater than the mean preoperative rate of 0.43. Conclusions: These rates of improvement were in accord with previous reports on smaller numbers of implant users, but could not be attributed unambiguously to use of the implant because no control group was used for this clinical work. Variables such as age at implantation, duration of profound deafness, communication mode, and speech perception skill failed to significantly predict rate of improvement on the PPVT.
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    A clinical report on speech production of cochlear implant users
    Dawson, P. W. ; Blamey, P. J. ; Dettman, S. J. ; Rowland, L. C. ; Barker, E. J. ; Tobey, E. A. ; Busby, P. A. ; Cowan, R. C. ( 1995)
    Objective: The aim was to assess articulation and speech intelligibility over time in a group of cochlear implant users implanted at 8 yr or over. The hypothesis was that the postoperative speech production performance would be greater than the preoperative performance. Design: A test of intelligibility using sentences and an articulation test measuring non-imitative elicited speech were administered to 11 and 10 subjects, respectively, who were implanted with the 22-electrode cochlear implant. Nine subjects received both tests. Age at implantation ranged from 8 yr to 20 yr and implant use ranged from 1 yr to 4 yr 5 mo. Results: For both the intelligibility and articulation tests roughly half of the subjects showed significant improvements over time and group mean postoperative performance significantly exceeded preoperative performance. Improvements occurred for front, middle, and back consonants; for stops, fricatives, and glides and for voiceless and voiced consonants. Conclusions: Despite being deprived of acoustic speech information for many childhood years, roughly half of the patients assessed showed significant gains in speech intelligibility and articulation postimplantation. The lack of a control group of non-implanted patients means that we cannot separate out the influence of the implant on speech production from other influences such as training and tactile-kinaesthetic feedback.
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    Issues in the development of multichannel tactile devices for hearing-impaired children and adults
    Cowan, Robert S. C. ; Galvin, Karyn L. ; Sarant, Julia Z. ; Blamey, Peter J. ; Clark, Graeme M. ( 1995)
    Levitt, Pickett and Houde (1980), in their landmark monograph, noted that the history of tactile aid development has been characterized by periodic bursts of enthusiasm and research, often culminating in identification of new avenues to be explored for improving tactile perception of speech. While several research groups have maintained long-term interest in tactile research (Boothroyd, 1985; Oller, Payne, & Gavin, 1980; Saunders, 1985), there was a marked increase in reports of new multichannel tactile devices during the 1980s (reviewed in McGarr, 1989). This upsurge may have been spurred in part by the rapid increase world-wide in the number of hearing-impaired children and adults using cochlear implants as everyday communication devices, and the perceived need for a non-surgical approach to assisting hearing-impaired children. Despite this increase in tactile research, no tactile device has yet achieved widespread commercial use by the hearing-impaired community. It is, therefore, of interest to question why cochlear implants have been more widely accepted than tactile devices.
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    Potential and limitations of cochlear implants in children
    Dowell, R. C. ; Blamey, P. J. ; Clark, Graeme M. ( 1995)
    Multiple-channel cochlear implants have been in use with children and adolescents for 8 years. The speech perception, speech production, and language of many of these children has been investigated in some detail.l-4 There have been many predictions about factors that may affect the performance of children with implants. For instance, it has been suggested that children with a congenital loss of hearing would not have the same potential to benefit from a cochlear implant as those with an acquired loss. Similarly, it has been suggested that younger children are likely to gain more benefit from a cochlear implant because of the effect of various critical ages for language learning.5 As more results have become available, it has been our observation that the performance of any particular child with a cochlear implant does not appear to follow well-defined rules, and that generalizations about the potential of certain groups of children are likely to encounter many exceptions. We now have a large quantity of results for children using cochlear implants, and it may be possible to determine some of the factors that have a significant effect on performance. This paper will attempt to identify some of these factors by reviewing speech perception results for 100 children implanted with the Nucleus 22-channel cochlear prosthesis in Australia and speech perception results for adult patients. This analysis will use an "information processing" model of a child using a cochlear implant. That is, we will assume that a child will benefit from a cochlear implant in terms of speech perception, production, and language development, if he or she receives a maximal amount of auditory information from the environment, and is able to process this information successfully. This model divides potential limiting or predictive factors into those that affect the information presented to the auditory system (eg, implant technology, surviving auditory neurons) and those that affect the processing of this information (eg, development of central auditory pathways, amount and consistency of auditory input).
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    Pitch matching of electric and acoustic stimuli
    Blamey, P. J. ; Parisi, E. S. ; Clark, Graeme M. ( 1995)
    In the electric coding of speech for multiple-electrode cochlear implants, acoustic frequency ranges are mapped onto electrodes. The question arises as to whether the pitches of the electrically evoked hearing sensations are similar to those evoked by the corresponding acoustic stimuli in normal-hearing listeners. Obviously, the sensations are similar enough for many postlingually deaf implant users to understand speech with a minimum of retraining, but it is unlikely that the electric signals sound identical to the acoustic ones. There will also be differences between implant users arising from the variable insertion depth of the electrode array, the number of electrodes in use, and the frequency-to-electrode mapping. The most direct method of determining pitch is to ask implant users to compare electric and acoustic stimuli, but studies of this sort have been hampered by the fact that very few implant users have usable hearing for acoustic signals. In 1978, Eddington et al 1 reported pitch-matching results for one unilaterally deaf volunteer. They concluded that pitch matching was "roughly consistent with electrode position and tonotopic maps of the cochlea derived from basilar membrane motion and hearing loss measurements." Several other studies 2-6 have investigated the relative pitch of electric signals using identification, scaling, and discrimination paradigms. These studies have established that electrode placement, electrode configuration, and rate of stimulation all affect the perceived pitch, and that the pitch increases tonotopically from apical to basal electrode positions. They have not determined the pitch of electric stimuli in an absolute fashion that can be compared with acoustic stimuli, however. A knowledge of the absolute pitch of electric stimuli for individuals, or as a function of position in the cochlea, would be very useful in optimizing the frequency mapping for cochlear implants. The present study directly compared the pitch of acoustic pure tones in one ear with electric signals in the other ear of implant users with some residual hearing in the nonimplanted ear. The main questions addressed were whether the pulse rate of a matched electric stimulus would be equal to the frequency of the acoustic tone, and whether the electrode used in the matched stimulus would correspond in position to the place of maximum basilar membrane motion produced by the acoustic tone in a normal cochlea.
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    Research in auditory training
    Blamey, Peter J. ; Alcantara, Joseph I. (Academy of Rehabilitative Audiology, 1994)
    Speech perception and communication can improve as a result of experience, and auditory training is one way of providing experiences that may be beneficial. One of the most important factors influencing the effectiveness of auditory training is the amount of experience the client already has. Other factors include the severity of the hearing loss, the sensory device used, the environment, personal qualities of the client and clinician, the type of training, and the type of evaluation used. Despite a long history of clinical practice, the effects of these factors have been investigated in few controlled studies. Even in special cases where training has an obvious role, such as adults using cochlear implants, there has been little objective comparison of alternative training methods. One reason for this is the difficulty of carrying out definitive experiments that measure changes in performance over time in the presence of many confounding variables. These variables may also help to explain the apparently contradictory results that can be found in the literature on auditory training and in the diverse points of view expressed by practicing clinicians. Issues and methods appropriate for research in auditory training among adult clients are discussed with reference to the needs of modem clinical practice.
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    Signal processing for multichannel cochlear implants: past, present and future [Abstract]
    DOWELL, RICHARD ; SELIGMAN, PETER ; MCDERMOTT, HUGH ; Whitford, Lesley ; BLAMEY, PETER ; Clark, Graeme M. ( 1994)
    Since the late 1970's, many groups have worked on developing effective signal processing for multichannel cochlear implants. The main aim of such schemes has been to provide the best possible speech perception for those using the device. Secondary aims of providing awareness and discrimination of environmental sounds and appreciation of music have also been considered. Early designs included some that attempted to simulate the normal cochlea. The application of such complex processing schemes was limited by the technology of the times. In some cases, researchers reverted to the use of single channel systems which could be controlled reliably with the existing technology. In other cases, as with the Australian implant, a simple multichannel processing scheme was devised that allowed a reliable implementation with available electronics. Over the next 15 years, largely due to the improvements in integrated circuit technology, the signal processors have slowly become more complex. Further psychophysical research has shown how additional information can be transferred effectively to implant users via electrical stimulation of the cochlea. This has lead to rapid improvement in the speech perception abilities of adults using cochlear implants. Some of the main developments in signal processing over the last 15 years will be discussed along with the latest speech perception results obtained with the new SPEAK processing scheme for the Australian 22-channel cochlear implant. Initial results for SPEAK show mean scores of 70% (equivalent to 85-90% phoneme scores) for open set monosyllabic word testing for experienced adult users. Although there remains a large range of performance for all users of cochlear implants, average speech perception scores for all implanted adults have also improved significantly with the developments in signal processing. It appears likely that multichannel cochlear implants will be a viable alternative for the treatment of severe hearing loss in the future.
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    Issues in long-term management of children with cochlear implants and tactile devices [Abstract]
    COWAN, ROBERT ; DOWELL, RICHARD ; Barker, Elizabeth ; GALVIN, KARYN ; DETTMAN, SHANI ; SARANT, JULIA ; RANCE, GARY ; Hollow, Rod ; BLAMEY, PETER ; Clark, Graeme M. ( 1994)
    For many children with severe and profound hearing losses, conventional hearing aids are unable to provide sufficient amplification to ensure good oral communication and/or in the case of very young children, development of speech and language. Traditionally a number of these children have opted for the use of sign language alone or in Total Communication approaches as a primary means of communication. The advent of multiple channel cochlear implants for children and the continuing development of multiple channel speech processing tactile devices provide auditory approaches to resolving communication difficulties for these children. The successful use of such devices depends on a number of factors including the information provided through the aid; the ease of use, convenience and reliability of the aid; the individual communication needs of the child; and the habilitation and management program used with the device. Long-term data has shown that children continue to show increased speech perception benefits from improvements in speech processing and from further experience with these devices. Habilitation and management programs must therefore be geared to meet the changing needs of children as they progress and of families as children mature and face new challenges. Habilitation must address specific individual needs in speech perception and in speech production. For very young children, benefits of improved speech perception should have an impact on the development of speech and language, and habilitation and management must emphasise the need for language growth.