Sensitivity to interaural time differences and localization accuracy in cochlear implant users with combined electric-acoustic stimulation

  • Objectives: In this study, localization accuracy and sensitivity to acoustic interaural time differences (ITDs) in subjects using cochlear implants with combined electric-acoustic stimulation (EAS) were assessed and compared with the results of a normal hearing control group. Methods: Eight CI users with EAS (2 bilaterally implanted, 6 unilaterally implanted) and symmetric binaural acoustic hearing and 24 normal hearing subjects participated in the study. The first experiment determined mean localization error (MLE) for different angles of sound incidence between ± 60° (frontal and dorsal presentation). The stimuli were either low-pass, high-pass or broadband noise bursts. In a second experiment, just noticeable differences (JND) of ITDs were measured for pure tones of 125 Hz, 250 Hz and 500 Hz (headphone presentation). Results: Experiment 1: MLE of EAS subjects was 8.5°, 14.3° and 14.7°, (low-, high-pass and broadband stimuli respectively). In the control group, MLE was 1.8° (broadband stimuli). In the differentiation between sound incidence from front and back, EAS subjects performed on chance level. Experiment 2: The JND-ITDs were 88.7 μs for 125 Hz, 48.8 μs for 250 Hz and 52.9 μs for 500 Hz (EAS subjects). Compared to the control group, JND-ITD for 125 Hz was on the same level of performance. No statistically significant correlation was found between MLE and JND-ITD in the EAS cohort. Conclusions: Near to normal ITD sensitivity in the lower frequency acoustic hearing was demonstrated in a cohort of EAS users. However, in an acoustic localization task, the majority of the subjects did not reached the level of accuracy of normal hearing. Presumably, signal processing time delay differences between devices used on both sides are deteriorating the transfer of precise binaural timing cues.
Author:Monika Körtje, Uwe BaumannORCiDGND, Timo StöverGND, Tobias WeißgerberORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):PLoS ONE
Place of publication:San Francisco, California, US
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2020/10/19
Date of first Publication:2020/10/19
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2021/08/17
Issue:10, art. e0241015
Page Number:17
First Page:1
Last Page:17
Institutes:Medizin / Medizin
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0