Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

Interleaved Processors Improve Cochlear Implant Patients’ Spectral Resolution

Aronoff, Justin M.; Stelmach, Julia; Padilla, Monica; Landsberger, David M.

doi: 10.1097/AUD.0000000000000249
e-Research Articles

Objective: Cochlear implant patients have difficulty in noisy environments, in part, because of channel interaction. Interleaving the signal by sending every other channel to the opposite ear has the potential to reduce channel interaction by increasing the space between channels in each ear. Interleaving still potentially provides the same amount of spectral information when the two ears are combined. Although this method has been successful in other populations such as hearing aid users, interleaving with cochlear implant patients has not yielded consistent benefits. This may be because perceptual misalignment between the two ears, and the spacing between stimulation locations must be taken into account before interleaving.

Design: Eight bilateral cochlear implant users were tested. After perceptually aligning the two ears, 12-channel maps were made that spanned the entire aligned portions of the array. Interleaved maps were created by removing every other channel from each ear. Participants’ spectral resolution and localization abilities were measured with perceptually aligned processing strategies both with and without interleaving.

Results: There was a significant improvement in spectral resolution with interleaving. However, there was no significant effect of interleaving on localization abilities.

Conclusions: The results indicate that interleaving can improve cochlear implant users’ spectral resolution. However, it may be necessary to perceptually align the two ears and/or use relatively large spacing between stimulation locations.

Cochlear implant patients have difficulty in noisy environments in large part because of channel interaction. Interleaving the signal by sending every other channel to the opposite ear has the potential to reduce channel interaction by increasing the space between channels in each ear. Eight bilateral cochlear implant users were tested with and without interleaving. There was significant improvement in spectral resolution with interleaving. However, there was no significant effect of interleaving on localization abilities. This finding suggests that interleaving may be able to improve cochlear implant users’ performance.

1Department of Speech and Hearing Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, Illinois, USA; 2Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA; 3Communication and Neuroscience Division, House Ear Institute, Los Angeles, California, USA; and 4Department of Otolaryngology, New York University, New York, New York, USA.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and text of this article on the journal’s Web site (www.ear-hearing.com).

This work was supported by the National Organization for Hearing Research (NOHR) and by National Institutes of Health grants T32DC009975, R01-DC12152, R01-DC001526, R01-DC004993, R03-DC010064, and R03-DC013380.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Received April 30, 2015; accepted October 13, 2015.

Address for correspondence: Justin Aronoff, 901 S 6th Street, Department of Speech and Hearing Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL 61820, USA. E-mail: jaronoff@illinois.edu

Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.