Effect of channel separation and interaural mismatch on fusion and lateralization in normal-hearing and cochlear-implant listeners

Alan Kan, Matthew J. Goupell, Ruth Y. Litovsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Bilateral cochlear implantation has provided access to some of the benefits of binaural hearing enjoyed by normal-hearing (NH) listeners. However, a gap in performance still exists between the two populations. Single-channel stimulation studies have shown that interaural place-of-stimulation mismatch (IPM) due to differences in implantation depth leads to decreased binaural fusion and lateralization of interaural time and level differences (ITDs and ILDs, respectively). While single-channel studies are informative, multi-channel stimulation is needed for good speech understanding with cochlear implants (CIs). Some multi-channel studies have shown that channel interaction due to current spread can affect ITD sensitivity. In this work, we studied the effect of IPM and channel spacing, along with their potential interaction, on binaural fusion and ITD/ILD lateralization. Experiments were conducted in adult NH listeners and CI listeners with a history of acoustic hearing. Results showed that IPM reduced the range of lateralization for ITDs but not ILDs. CI listeners were more likely to report a fused percept in the presence of IPM with multi-channel stimulation than NH listeners. However, no effect of channel spacing was found. These results suggest that IPM should be accounted for in clinical mapping practices in order to maximize bilateral CI benefits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1448-1463
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Volume146
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019
Externally publishedYes

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