Preliminary evaluation of a multichannel electrotactile speech processor

R. S C Cowan, J. I. Alcantara, P. J. Blamey, G. M. Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)


Speech discrimination testing, using both open- and closed-set materials, was carried out with four severely to profoundly hearing impaired adults and seven normally hearing subjects to assess performance of a wearable eight-channel electrotactile aid (Tickle Talker). Significant increases in speechtracking rates were noted for all subjects when using the electrotactile aid. After 70 h of training, mean tracking rate in the tactile plus lipreading condition was 55 words per minute (wpm), as compared with 36 wpm for lipreading alone, for the normally hearing group. For the hearing impaired group, the mean tracking rate in the aided condition was 37 wpm, as compared with 24 wpm for lipreading alone, following 35 h of training. Performance scores on Central Institute for the Deaf (CID) everyday sentences, Consonant Nucleus Consonant (CNC) words, and closed-set vowel and consonant identification were significantly improved when using the electrotactile aid. Performance scores, using the aid without lipreading, were well above chance on consonant and vowel identification and on elements of the Minimal Auditory Capabilities Battery. Two hearing impaired subjects have used the device satisfactorily in the home environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2328-2338
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

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