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The Effect of Spectral Resolution of Auditory Feedback on Speech Production of Normal-­hearing Listeners

Description

Cochlear implant (CI) successfully restores hearing sensation to profoundly deaf patients, but its
performance is limited by poor spectral resolution. Acoustic CI simulation has been widely used
in normal-­hearing (NH)

Cochlear implant (CI) successfully restores hearing sensation to profoundly deaf patients, but its
performance is limited by poor spectral resolution. Acoustic CI simulation has been widely used
in normal-­hearing (NH) listeners to study the effect of spectral resolution on speech perception,
while avoiding patient-­related confounds. It is unclear how speech production may change with
the degree of spectral degradation of auditory feedback as experience by CI users. In this study,
a real-­time sinewave CI simulation was developed to provide NH subjects with auditory
feedback of different spectral resolution (1, 2, 4, and 8 channels). NH subjects were asked to
produce and identify vowels, as well as recognize sentences while listening to the real-­time CI
simulation. The results showed that sentence recognition scores with the real-­time CI simulation
improved with more channels, similar to those with the traditional off-­line CI simulation.
Perception of a vowel continuum “HEAD”-­ “HAD” was near chance with 1, 2, and 4 channels,
and greatly improved with 8 channels and full spectrum. The spectral resolution of auditory
feedback did not significantly affect any acoustic feature of vowel production (e.g., vowel space
area, mean amplitude, mean and variability of fundamental and formant frequencies). There
was no correlation between vowel production and perception. The lack of effect of auditory
feedback spectral resolution on vowel production was likely due to the limited exposure of NH
subjects to CI simulation and the limited frequency ranges covered by the sinewave carriers of
CI simulation. Future studies should investigate the effects of various CI processing parameters
on speech production using a noise-­band CI simulation.

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Date Created
  • 2019-05