Auditory motion tracking ability of adults with normal hearing and with bilateral cochlear implants

Keng Moua, Alan Kan, Heath G. Jones, Sara M. Misurelli, Ruth Y. Litovsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Adults with bilateral cochlear implants (BiCIs) receive benefits in localizing stationary sounds when listening with two implants compared with one; however, sound localization ability is significantly poorer when compared to normal hearing (NH) listeners. Little is known about localizing sound sources in motion, which occurs in typical everyday listening situations. The authors considered the possibility that sound motion may improve sound localization in BiCI users by providing multiple places of information. Alternatively, the ability to compare multiple spatial locations may be compromised in BiCI users due to degradation of binaural cues, and thus result in poorer performance relative to NH adults. In this study, the authors assessed listeners' abilities to distinguish between sounds that appear to be moving vs stationary, and track the angular range and direction of moving sounds. Stimuli were bandpass-filtered (150-6000 Hz) noise bursts of different durations, panned over an array of loudspeakers. Overall, the results showed that BiCI users were poorer than NH adults in (i) distinguishing between a moving vs stationary sound, (ii) correctly identifying the direction of movement, and (iii) tracking the range of movement. These findings suggest that conventional cochlear implant processors are not able to fully provide the cues necessary for perceiving auditory motion correctly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2498-2511
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes


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