What cochlear implants can tell us about pitch perception in normal hearing

Brett A. Swanson*, Hugh J. Mcdermott

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

Abstract

Temporal models of pitch perception postulate that pitch depends on auditory nerve inter-spike intervals. Such models were assessed with cochlear implant recipients by stimulating via a single electrode with two distinct pulse timing patterns. Pitch-ranking results using on-off modulated pulse trains were not consistent with a published autocorrelation model, but were consistent with an alternative model that analyses first-order inter-spike intervals. Place of stimulation cues were investigated by choosing a fixed pulse rate, high enough to avoid temporal cues (1800 pps), and then varying the electrodes that were activated. Pitch-ranking results suggested that when a group of neighbouring electrodes was activated, the percept depended on the centroid of the stimulation pattern. This is similar to a model of brightness (timbre) perception in normal hearing. Cochlear implant recipients performed a melody perception test with melodies presented by (i) varying the pulse rate on a single electrode (temporal cues only), and (ii) varying the centroid of the stimulation pattern (place cues only). Scores were worse than those of normal-hearing subjects listening to tones containing only resolved harmonics, but similar to those obtained with unresolved harmonics. Such tones contain only temporal cues to pitch and evoke a weak pitch sensation. Given the dissimilarities in the neural firing patterns, it is surprising that place cues alone and temporal cues alone can each provide useful information about melodic pitch.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication20th International Congress on Acoustics 2010, ICA 2010 - Incorporating Proceedings of the 2010 Annual Conference of the Australian Acoustical Society
Place of PublicationSydney, Australia
PublisherInternational Congress on Acoustics (ICA)
Pages3348-3353
Number of pages6
Volume4
ISBN (Print)9781617827457
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
Event20th International Congress on Acoustics 2010, ICA 2010 - Incorporating the 2010 Annual Conference of the Australian Acoustical Society - Sydney, NSW, Australia
Duration: 23 Aug 201027 Aug 2010

Other

Other20th International Congress on Acoustics 2010, ICA 2010 - Incorporating the 2010 Annual Conference of the Australian Acoustical Society
CountryAustralia
CitySydney, NSW
Period23/08/1027/08/10

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