Speech perception in children using the advanced speak speech-processing strategy

R. S C Cowan*, C. Brown, L. A. Whitford, K. L. Galvin, J. Z. Sarant, E. J. Barker, S. Shaw, A. King, M. Skok, P. M. Seligman, R. C. Dowell, C. Everingham, W. P R Gibson, G. M. Clark

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The Speak speech-processing strategy, developed by the University of Melbourne and commercialized by Cochlear Pty Limited for use in the new Spectra 22 speech processor, has been shown to provide improved speech perception for adults in both quiet and noisy situations. The present study evaluated the ability of children experienced in the use of the Multipeak (Mpeak) speech-processing strategy (implemented in the Nucleus Minisystem-22 cochlear implant) to adapt to and benefit from the advanced Speak speech- processing strategy (implemented in the Nucleus Spectra 22 speech processor). Twelve children were assessed using Mpeak and Speak over a period of 8 months. All of the children had over 1 year's previous experience with Mpeak, and all were able to score significantly on open-set word and sentence tests using the cochlear implant alone. Children were assessed with both live- voice and recorded speech materials, including Consonant-Nucleus-Consonant monosyllabic words and Speech Intelligibility Test sentences. Assessments were made in both quiet and in noise. Assessments were made at 3-week intervals to investigate the ability of the children to adapt to the new speech-processing strategy. For most of the children, a significant advantage was evident when using the Speak strategy as compared with Mpeak. For 4 of the children, there was no decrement in speech perception scores immediately following fitting with Speak. Eight of the children showed a small (10% to 20%) decrement in speech perception scores for between 3 and 6 weeks following the changeover to Speak. After 24 weeks' experience with Speak, 11 of the children had shown a steady increase in speech perception scores, with final Speak scores higher than for Mpeak. Only 1 child showed a significant decrement in speech perception with Speak, which did not recover to original Mpeak levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-321
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number9 (Suppl. 166)
Publication statusPublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


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