Author(s): Neuman AC, Haravon A, Sislian N, Waltzman SB
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to compare the accuracy of sound-direction identification in the horizontal plane by bilateral cochlear implant users when localization was measured with pink noise and with speech stimuli. DESIGN: Eight adults who were bilateral users of Nucleus 24 Contour devices participated in the study. All had received implants in both ears in a single surgery. Sound-direction identification was measured in a large classroom by using a nine-loudspeaker array. Localization was tested in three listening conditions (bilateral cochlear implants, left cochlear implant, and right cochlear implant), using two different stimuli (a speech stimulus and pink noise bursts) in a repeated-measures design. RESULTS: Sound-direction identification accuracy was significantly better when using two implants than when using a single implant. The mean root-mean-square error was 29 degrees for the bilateral condition, 54 degrees for the left cochlear implant, and 46.5 degrees for the right cochlear implant condition. Unilateral accuracy was similar for right cochlear implant and left cochlear implant performance. Sound-direction identification performance was similar for speech and pink noise stimuli. CONCLUSIONS: The data obtained in this study add to the growing body of evidence that sound-direction identification with bilateral cochlear implants is better than with a single implant. The similarity in localization performance obtained with the speech and pink noise supports the use of either stimulus for measuring sound-direction identification.
This article was published in Ear Hear
and referenced in Journal of Phonetics & Audiology