Pitch and vowel perception in cochlear implant users
AuthorBlamey, Peter J.; Parisi, Elvira S.
Source TitleFifth Australian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology
University of Melbourne Author/sBlamey, Peter
Document TypeConference Paper
CitationsBlamey, P. J., & Parisi, E. S. (1994). Pitch and vowel perception in cochlear implant users. In Fifth Australian International Conference on Speech Science and Technology.
Access StatusOpen Access
Two methods of determining the pitch or timbre of electrical stimuli in comparison with acoustic stimuli are described. In the first experiment, the pitch of pure tones and electrical stimuli were compared directly by implant users who have residual hearing in the non-implanted ear. This resulted in a relationship between frequency in the non-implanted ear and position of the best-matched electrode in the implanted ear. In the second experiment, one- and two-formant synthetic vowels, with formant frequencies covering the range from 200 to 4000 Hz, were presented to the same implant users through their implant or through their hearing aid. The listeners categorised each stimulus according to the closest vowel from a set of eleven possibilities, and a vowel centre was calculated for each response category for each ear. Assuming that stimuli at the vowel centres in each ear sound alike, a second relationship between frequency and electrode position was derived. Both experiments showed that electrically-evoked pitch is much lower than that produced by pure tones at the corresponding cochlear location in normally-hearing listeners. This helps to explain why cochlear implants with electrode arrays that rarely extend beyond the basal turn of the cochlea have achieved high levels of speech recognition in postlinguistically deafened adults without major retraining or adaptation by the users. The techniques described also have potential for optimising speech recognition for individual implant users.
Keywordsotolaryngology; speech perception; cochlear implant
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