Binaural hearing measured with the temporal limits encoder using a vocoder simulation of cochlear implants

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-213
Journal / PublicationAcoustical Science and Technology
Volume41
Issue number1
Online published1 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Abstract

Cochlear implants (CIs) convert sound to electrical stimulation by extracting the envelope in each frequency band while discarding the temporal fine structure (TFS). This processing removes the fine structure interaural time differences (ITDs), which are an important cue for locating sounds on the horizontal plane in normal-hearing (NH) listeners, but are unavailable to CI users. A temporal limits encoder (TLE) strategy was previously proposed to enhance TFS in CIs, and our previous studies via tone-carrier vocoder simulation have shown improved unilateral speech-in-noise understanding and pitch perception. Here, binaural benefits of TLE were assessed, by measuring the binaural intelligibility level difference (BILD), using a 22-channel tone-carrier vocoder in NH listeners. TLE was compared to continuous interleaved sampling (CIS), a common CI strategy. Speech reception thresholds (SRTs) were measured for diotic target speech (male), and diotically-colocated or dichotically-separated (applying ±625 µs delay between ears) competitors (male or female). Compared to CIS, TLE showed significantly larger BILDs for different genders, indicating that TLE-simulation listeners were able to benefit from both pitch and spatial cues. However, SRTs for vocoded conditions were much higher than non-vocoded listening, likely due to a lack of familiarity with vocoded speech listening.

Research Area(s)

  • Binaural hearing, Cochlear implant, Temporal fine structure, Vocoder