Bimodal benefits for lexical tone recognition: An investigation on mandarin-speaking preschoolers with a cochlear implant and a contralateral hearing aid

Hao Zhang, Jing Zhang, Hongwei Ding, Yang Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Pitch perception is known to be difficult for individuals with cochlear implant (CI), and adding a hearing aid (HA) in the non-implanted ear is potentially beneficial. The current study aimed to investigate the bimodal benefit for lexical tone recognition in Mandarin-speaking preschoolers using a CI and an HA in opposite ears. The child participants were required to complete tone identification in quiet and in noise with CI + HA in comparison with CI alone. While the bimodal listeners showed confusion between Tone 2 and Tone 3 in recognition, the additional acoustic information from the contralateral HA alleviated confusion between these two tones in quiet. Moreover, significant improvement was demonstrated in the CI + HA condition over the CI alone condition in noise. The bimodal benefit for individual subjects could be predicted by the low-frequency hearing threshold of the non-implanted ear and the duration of bimodal use. The findings support the clinical practice to fit a contralateral HA in the non-implanted ear for the potential benefit in Mandarin tone recognition in CI children. The limitations call for further studies on auditory plasticity on an individual basis to gain insights on the contributing factors to the bimodal benefit or its absence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number238
JournalBrain Sciences
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Keywords

  • Bimodal benefit
  • Cochlear implant (CI)
  • Hearing aid (HA)
  • Lexical tones
  • Speech learning

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