The Effect of Temporal Gap Identification on Speech Perception by Users of Cochlear Implants

Sagi, Elad; Kaiser, Adam R.; Meyer, Ted A.; Svirsky, Mario A.
April 2009
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Apr2009, Vol. 52 Issue 2, p385
Academic Journal
Purpose: This study examined the ability of listeners using cochlear implants (CIs) and listeners with normal hearing (NH) to identify silent gaps of different duration and the relation of this ability to speech understanding in CI users. Method: Sixteen NH adults and 11 postlingually deafened adults with CIs identified synthetic vowel-like stimuli that were either continuous or contained an intervening silent gap ranging from 15 ms to 90 ms. Cumulative d', an index of discriminability, was calculated for each participant. Consonant and consonant--nucleus--consonant (CNC) word identification tasks were administered to the CI group. Results: Overall, the ability to identify stimuli with gaps of different duration was better for the NH group than for the CI group. Seven CI users had cumulative d' scores that were no higher than those of any NH listener, and their CNC word scores ranged from 0% to 30%. The other 4 CI users had cumulative d' scores within the range of the NH group, and their CNC word scores ranged from 46% to 68%. For the CI group, cumulative d' scores were significantly correlated with their speech testing scores. Conclusions: The ability to identify silent gap duration may help explain individual differences in speech perception by CI users.


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