The difference in binaural benefit between bilateral cochlear implant (CI) users and normal hearing (NH) listeners has typically been attributed to CI sound coding strategies not encoding the acoustic fine structure (FS) interaural time differences (ITD). The Temporal Limits Encoder (TLE) strategy is proposed as a potential way of improving binaural hearing benefits for CI users in noisy situations. TLE works by downward-transposition of mid-frequency band-limited channel information and can theoretically provide FS-ITD cues. In this work, the effect of choice of lower limit of the modulator in TLE was examined by measuring performance on a word recognition task and computing the magnitude of binaural benefit in bilateral CI users. Performance listening with the TLE strategy was compared with the commonly used Advanced Combinational Encoder (ACE) CI sound coding strategy. Results showed that setting the lower limit to ≥200 Hz maintained word recognition performance comparable to that of ACE. While most CI listeners exhibited a large binaural benefit (≥6 dB) in at least one of the conditions tested, there was no systematic relationship between the lower limit of the modulator and performance. These results indicate that the TLE strategy has potential to improve binaural hearing abilities in CI users but further work is needed to understand how binaural benefit can be maximized.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||IEEE/ACM Transactions on Audio Speech and Language Processing|
|Publication status||Published - 2021|