Adaptive dynamic range optimization for cochlear implants: A preliminary study

Chris J. James*, Peter J. Blamey, Lois Martin, Brett Swanson, Yvette Just, David Macfarlane

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    93 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: The present study investigated the acceptability and the effect of Adaptive dynamic range optimization (ADRO) on speech perception for cochlear implant subjects. ADRO is a preprocessing scheme that continuously adjusts the gain in each frequency band to optimize the signal in the output dynamic range. Design: Speech processor programs were created with and without ADRO processing. Nine subjects were tested in the laboratory and encouraged to use both programs in everyday listening situations. Take-home experience was assessed with preference questionnaires. Speech perception performance was compared for the standard and ADRO programs using City University of New York (CUNY) sentences, consonant-nucleus-consonant (CNC) words, and closed set spondees presented in quiet. A range of presentation levels were used; from 70 to 40 dB sound pressure level (unweighted RMS). CUNY sentences were also presented in multi-talker babble with +15 dB and +10 dB signal to noise ratios. Results: There was a significant improvement in speech perception scores with the ADRO programs compared with the standard. At 50 dB, the mean open set sentence scores in quiet improved by 16% (p < 0.001). There was an improvement in mean word score for CNC words presented at 60 dB of 9.5% (p < 0.001) and a 20% improvement in mean score for spondees presented at 40 dB. There was no significant difference in sentence scores between the ADRO and the standard program for sentences presented in either noise condition. ADRO was the preferred program in 59% of listening situations, with five out of nine subjects indicating a strong overall preference and three subjects indicating a slight preference for ADRO. Conclusions: Continual adjustment of channel gains using ADRO provided improved sound quality and improved speech perception performance. Therefore, ADRO is a viable alternative to fixed channel gain and offers a means for cochlear implantees to gain more benefit from their devices.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)49S-58S
    Number of pages10
    JournalEar and Hearing
    Issue number1 SUPPL.
    Publication statusPublished - 2002


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