Speech recognition with the Nucleus 24 SPEAK, ACE, and CIS speech coding strategies in newly implanted adults

Margaret W. Skinner*, Laura K. Holden, Lesley A. Whitford, Kerrie L. Plant, Colleen Psarros, Timothy A. Holden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

100 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The objective of this study was to determine whether 1) the SPEAK, ACE or CIS speech coding strategy was associated with significantly better speech recognition for individual subjects implanted with the Nucleus CI24M internal device who used the SPrint™ speech processor, and 2) whether a subject's preferred strategy for use in everyday life provided the best speech recognition. Design: Twelve postlinguistically deaf, newly implanted adults participated. Initial preference for the three strategies was obtained with paired-comparison testing on the first day of implant stimulation with seven of eight U.S. subjects. During the first 12 wk, all subjects used each strategy alone for 4 wk to give them experience with the strategy and to identify preferred speech processor program parameters and settings that would be used in subsequent testing. For the next 6 wk, subjects used one strategy at a time for 2-wk intervals in the same order they had for the first 12 wk. At the end of each 2-wk interval, speech recognition testing was conducted with all three strategies. At the end of the 6 wk, all three strategies were placed on each subject's processor, and subjects were asked to compare listening with these three programs in as many situations as possible for the next 2 wk. When they returned, subjects responded to a questionnaire asking about their preferred strategy and responded to two lists of medial consonants using each of the three strategies. The U.S. subjects also responded to two lists of medial vowels with the three strategies. Results: Six of the 12 subjects in the present study had significantly higher CUNY sentence scores with the ACE strategy than with one or both of the other strategies; one of the 12 subjects had a significantly higher score with SPEAK than with ACE. In contrast, only two subjects had significantly higher CNC word and phoneme scores with one or two strategies than with the third strategy. One subject had a significantly higher vowel score with the SPEAK strategy than with the CIS strategy; and no subjects had significantly higher consonant scores with any strategy. Seven of 12 subjects preferred the ACE strategy, three preferred the SPEAK strategy, and two preferred the CIS strategy. Subjects' responses on a questionnaire agreed closely with strategy preference from comparisons made in everyday life. There was a strong relation between the preferred strategy and scores on CUNY sentences but not for the other speech tests. For all subjects, except one, the preferred strategy was the one with the highest CUNY sentence score or was a strategy with a CUNY score not significantly lower than the highest score. Conclusions: Despite differences in research design, there was remarkably close agreement in the pattern of group mean scores for the three strategies for CNC words and CUNY sentences in noise between the present study and the Conversion study (Arndt, Staller, Arcaroli, Hines, & Ebinger, Reference Note 1). In addition, essentially the same percentage of subjects preferred each strategy. For both studies, the strategy with which subjects had the highest score on the CUNY sentences in noise evaluation was strongly related to the preferred strategy; this relation was not strong for CNC words, CNC phonemes, vowels or consonants (Skinner, Arndt, & Staller, 2002). These results must be considered within the following context. For each strategy, programming parameters preferred for use in everyday life were determined before speech recognition was evaluated. In addition, implant recipients had experience listening with all three strategies in many situations in everyday life before choosing a preferred strategy. Finally, 11 of the 12 subjects strongly preferred one of the three strategies. Given the results and research design, it is recommended that clinicians fit each strategy sequentially starting with the ACE strategy so that the preferred programming parameters are determined for each strategy before recipients compare pairs of strategies. The goal is to provide the best opportunity for individuals to hear in everyday life within a clinically acceptable time period (e.g., 6 wk).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-223
Number of pages17
JournalEar and Hearing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

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    Skinner, M. W., Holden, L. K., Whitford, L. A., Plant, K. L., Psarros, C., & Holden, T. A. (2002). Speech recognition with the Nucleus 24 SPEAK, ACE, and CIS speech coding strategies in newly implanted adults. Ear and Hearing, 23(3), 207-223.