Acoustic match to electric pulse trains in single-sided deafness cochlear implant recipients
Ten cochlear implant users with single-sided deafness were asked to vary the parameters of an acoustic sound played to their normal-hearing ear, in order to match its perception with that of the electric sensation of two electrodes (e14 and e20). The experiment was divided into 3 consecutive conditions in which the parameters of the acoustic sound varied. The participants had to vary i) the frequency of a pure tone (Exp. 1), ii) the center frequency and the bandwidth of a filter applied to a harmonic complex sound (Exp. 2), and iii) the based frequency (Fb) and the inharmonicity factor of a complex sound (Exp. 3). The results were averaged across participants, and compared within conditions. The pitch sensation for e14 and e20 was significantly different (Exp. 1). In Exp. 2, only the center frequencies of the band-pass filters were significantly different, not the bandwidth. In Exp. 3, the average F0s were not significantly different; The inharmonicity factor was 1.7 for both electrodes. The results of this study suggest that the sound sensation of different electrodes is more linked to a difference in timbre (brightness) than to a difference in pitch, and that the sound is more similar to an inharmonic complex sound than to a pure tone or a white noise.
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