Differences in fundamental frequency (F0) provide an important cue for segregating simultaneous sounds. Cochlear implants (CIs) transmit F0 information primarily through the periodicity of the temporal envelope of the electrical pulse trains. Successful segregation of sounds with different F0s requires the ability to process multiple F0s simultaneously, but it is unknown whether CI users have this ability. This study measured modulation frequency discrimination thresholds for half-wave rectified sinusoidal envelopes modulated at 115 Hz in CI users and normal-hearing (NH) listeners. The target modulation was presented in isolation or in the presence of an interferer. Discrimination thresholds were strongly affected by the presence of an interferer, even when it was unmodulated and spectrally remote. Interferer modulation increased interference and often led to very high discrimination thresholds, especially when the interfering modulation frequency was lower than that of the target. Introducing a temporal offset between the interferer and the target led to at best modest improvements in performance in CI users and NH listeners. The results suggest no fundamental difference between acoustic and electric hearing in processing single or multiple envelope-based F0s, but confirm that differences in F0 are unlikely to provide a robust cue for perceptual segregation in CI users.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||JARO - Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology|
|State||Published - Aug 1 2013|
- cochlear implants
- modulation frequency discrimination interference
- pitch discrimination interference