Six Nucleus cochlear implant recipients participated in a study investigating the effect of place of stimulation on melody perception using rate-pitch cues. Each stimulus was a pulse train delivered on either a single electrode or multiple electrodes sequentially. Four spatial stimulation patterns were used: a single apical electrode, a single mid electrode, a pair of electrodes (apical and mid), and 11 electrodes (from apical to mid). Within one block of trials, all stimuli had the same spatial stimulation pattern, with pulse rate varying from 131 to 262 pps. An additional pulse rate range of 262 to 523 pps was tested with the single-electrode stimuli. Two experimental procedures were used: note ranking; and a modified melodies test with backwards and warp modification. In each trial of the modified melodies test, a familiar melody and a version with modified pitch were presented (in random order), and the subject's task was to select the unmodified melody. There were no significant differences in performance for stimulation on 1, 2, or 11 electrodes, implying that recipients were unable to combine temporal information from different places in the cochlea to give a stronger pitch cue. No advantage of apical electrodes was found: at the lower pulse rates, there were no significant differences between electrodes; and at the higher pulse rates, scores on the apical electrode dropped more than those on the mid electrode.
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- Cochlear implants
- Melody perception