Frequency Importance Functions in Quiet and Noise for Adults With Cochlear Implants Purpose Several studies have been devoted to understanding the frequency information available to adult users of cochlear implants when listening in quiet. The objective of this study was to construct frequency importance functions for a group of adults with cochlear implants and a group of adults with normal hearing both ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 2015
Frequency Importance Functions in Quiet and Noise for Adults With Cochlear Implants
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Douglas P. Sladen
    Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
  • Todd. A. Ricketts
    Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Douglas P. Sladen: sladen.douglas@mayo.edu
  • Editor and Associate Editor: Larry Humes
    Editor and Associate Editor: Larry Humes×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 2015
Frequency Importance Functions in Quiet and Noise for Adults With Cochlear Implants
American Journal of Audiology, December 2015, Vol. 24, 477-486. doi:10.1044/2015_AJA-15-0023
History: Received April 23, 2015 , Revised June 26, 2015 , Accepted July 14, 2015
 
American Journal of Audiology, December 2015, Vol. 24, 477-486. doi:10.1044/2015_AJA-15-0023
History: Received April 23, 2015; Revised June 26, 2015; Accepted July 14, 2015
Web of Science® Times Cited: 2

Purpose Several studies have been devoted to understanding the frequency information available to adult users of cochlear implants when listening in quiet. The objective of this study was to construct frequency importance functions for a group of adults with cochlear implants and a group of adults with normal hearing both in quiet and in a +10 dB signal-to-noise ratio.

Method Two groups of adults, 1 with cochlear implants and 1 with normal hearing, were asked to identify nonsense syllables in quiet and in the presence of 6-talker babble while “holes” were systematically created in the speech spectrum. Frequency importance functions were constructed.

Results Results showed that adults with normal hearing placed greater weight on bands 1, 3, and 4 than on bands 2, 5, and 6, whereas adults with cochlear implants placed equal weight on all bands. The frequency importance functions for each group did not differ between listening in quiet and listening in noise.

Conclusions Adults with cochlear implants assign perceptual weight toward different frequency bands, though the weight assignment does not differ between quiet and noisy conditions. Generalizing these results to the broader population of adults with implants is constrained by a small sample size.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported in part through MED-EL Corporation. We gratefully acknowledge Michael Dorman, Anne Marie Tharpe, Ralph Ohde, and D. Wesley Grantham for their input on the study design. In addition, we thank Suzanne Hasenstab and Marcia Clark for their assistance with participant recruitment.
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