The effect of loudness imbalance between electrodes in cochlear implant users
AuthorDawson, P. W.; Skok, M.; Clark, Graeme M.
Source TitleEar and Hearing
University of Melbourne Author/sClark, Graeme
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsDawson, P. W., Skok, M., & Clark, G. M. (1997). The effect of loudness imbalance between electrodes in cochlear implant users. Ear and Hearing, 18(2), 156-165.
Access StatusOpen Access
This is a publisher’s version of an article published in Ear and Hearing 1997. This version is reproduced with permission of Lippincott Wilkins & Williams.
Objective: The aim was to determine the effect of loudness imbalance between electrodes in patients using the 22-electrode cochlear implant (Cochlear Pty Ltd). It was hypothesized that speech perception scores would be greater when the loudness of electrodes was balanced at the comfort (C) levels than when the C levels were unbalanced. Design: Ten adult patients received a monosyllabic word test (CNC words) in quiet and a sentence test (CUNY sentences) in noise under two conditions: with C levels balanced for equal loudness and with unbalanced C levels. Results: When the C levels across electrodes were pseudo-randomly unbalanced by 0 to ±20% of the electrodes' dynamic ranges (20% unbalancing), 6 of the 10 subjects showed a significant drop in sentence perception scores. Of these patients, none had a significant decrease in perception when the degree of unbalancing was halved. Of the four patients who showed no change with 20% unbalancing, three revealed a significant decline in sentence perception when the degree of unbalancing was doubled. There also were significant group effects for phonemes on the word test as well as for sentences in noise for the 20% unbalancing. Conclusions: The implications for clinical practice are that it is important to balance the C levels and that clinicians should be encouraged to refine methods for setting C levels in very young children, who may be using unbalanced MAPs. Nevertheless, although most patients revealed a statistically significant drop in sentence perception with 20% imbalance of the C levels, the changes in percentage scores often were only small.
Keywordscochlear implant; loudness imbalance; speech perception
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