Goupell, M. J., Laback, B., Majdak, P., Baumgartner, W.-D. (2008): Effects of upper-frequency boundary and spectral warping on speech intelligibility in electrical stimulation, in: J. Acoust Soc. Am. 123, 2295-309. (article)


    Speech understanding was tested for seven listeners using 12-electrode Med-El cochlear implants (CIs) and six normal-hearing listeners using a CI simulation. Eighteen different types of processing were evaluated, which varied the frequency-to-tonotopic place mapping and the upper boundary of the frequency and stimulation range. Spectrally unwarped and warped conditions were included. Unlike previous studies on this topic, the lower boundary of the frequency and stimulation range was fixed while the upper boundary was varied. For the unwarped conditions, only eight to ten channels were needed in both quiet and noise to achieve no significant degradation in speech understanding compared to the normal 12-electrode speech processing. The unwarped conditions were often the best conditions for understanding speech; however, small changes in frequency-to-place mapping (<0.77 octaves for the most basal electrode) yielded no significant degradation in performance from the nearest unwarped condition. A second experiment measured the effect of feedback training for both the unwarped and warped conditions. Improvements were found for the unwarped and frequency-expanded conditions, but not for the compressed condition. These results have implications for new CI processing strategies, such as the inclusion of spectral localization cues.