Combined Effects of Noise and Reverberation on Sound Localization for Listeners With Normal Hearing and Bilateral Cochlear Implants Purpose This study examined the individual and combined effects of noise and reverberation on the ability of listeners with normal hearing (NH) and with bilateral cochlear implants (BCIs) to localize speech. Method Six adults with BCIs and 10 with NH participated. All subjects completed a virtual localization test ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 12, 2017
Combined Effects of Noise and Reverberation on Sound Localization for Listeners With Normal Hearing and Bilateral Cochlear Implants
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Yunfang Zheng
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, MI
  • Janet Koehnke
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Montclair State University, Bloomfield, NJ
  • Joan Besing
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Montclair State University, Bloomfield, NJ
  • 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 Yunfang Zheng: zheng4y@cmich.edu
  • Editor: Sumitrajit (Sumit) Dhar
    Editor: Sumitrajit (Sumit) Dhar×
  • Associate Editor: Ryan McCreery
    Associate Editor: Ryan McCreery×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 12, 2017
Combined Effects of Noise and Reverberation on Sound Localization for Listeners With Normal Hearing and Bilateral Cochlear Implants
American Journal of Audiology, December 2017, Vol. 26, 519-530. doi:10.1044/2017_AJA-16-0101
History: Received October 12, 2016 , Revised March 1, 2017 , Accepted July 12, 2017
 
American Journal of Audiology, December 2017, Vol. 26, 519-530. doi:10.1044/2017_AJA-16-0101
History: Received October 12, 2016; Revised March 1, 2017; Accepted July 12, 2017

Purpose This study examined the individual and combined effects of noise and reverberation on the ability of listeners with normal hearing (NH) and with bilateral cochlear implants (BCIs) to localize speech.

Method Six adults with BCIs and 10 with NH participated. All subjects completed a virtual localization test in quiet and at 0-, −4-, and −8-dB signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) in simulated anechoic and reverberant (0.2-, 0.6-, and 0.9-s RT60) environments. BCI users were also tested at +8- and +4-dB SNR. A 3-word phrase was presented at 70 dB SPL from 9 simulated locations in the frontal horizontal plane (±90°), with the noise source at 0°.

Results BCIs users had significantly poorer localization than listeners with NH in all conditions. BCI users' performance started to decrease at a higher SNR (+4 dB) and shorter RT60 (0.2 s) than listeners with NH (−4 dB and 0.6 s). The combination of noise and reverberation began to degrade localization of BCI users at a higher SNR and a shorter RT60 than listeners with NH.

Conclusion The clear effect of noise and reverberation on the performance of BCI users provides information that should be useful for refining cochlear implant processing strategies and developing cochlear implant rehabilitation plans to optimize binaural benefit for BCI users in everyday listening situations.

Acknowledgments
This research was funded by a grant from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation and partially supported by new faculty funds from Central Michigan University. The data for the quiet condition from Zheng et al. (2016)  were included in this article for comparison purposes. Many thanks to all the subjects for their participation in this research project.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire American Journal of Audiology content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access