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Trends in Hearing

Andreu Paredes-Gallardo, Sara M K Madsen, Torsten Dau, Jeremy Marozeau
The role of temporal cues in sequential stream segregation was investigated in cochlear implant (CI) listeners using a delay detection task composed of a sequence of bursts of pulses (B) on a single electrode interleaved with a second sequence (A) presented on the same electrode with a different pulse rate. In half of the trials, a delay was added to the last burst of the otherwise regular B sequence and the listeners were asked to detect this delay. As a jitter was added to the period between consecutive A bursts, time judgments between the A and B sequences provided an unreliable cue to perform the task...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
W Owen Brimijoin
By moving sounds around the head and asking listeners to report which ones moved more, it was found that sound sources at the side of a listener must move at least twice as much as ones in front to be judged as moving the same amount. A relative expansion of space in the front and compression at the side has consequences for spatial perception of moving sounds by both static and moving listeners. An accompanying prediction that the apparent location of static sound sources ought to also be distorted agrees with previous work and suggests that this is a general perceptual phenomenon that is not limited to moving signals...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Christi L Hess, Sara M Misurelli, Ruth Y Litovsky
This study evaluated spatial release from masking (SRM) in 2- to 3-year-old children who are deaf and were implanted with bilateral cochlear implants (BiCIs), and in age-matched normal-hearing (NH) toddlers. Here, we examined whether early activation of bilateral hearing has the potential to promote SRM that is similar to age-matched NH children. Listeners were 13 NH toddlers and 13 toddlers with BiCIs, ages 27 to 36 months. Speech reception thresholds (SRTs) were measured for target speech in front (0°) and for competitors that were either Colocated in front (0°) or Separated toward the right (+90°)...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Alan Wiinberg, Johannes Zaar, Torsten Dau
This study examined the perceptual consequences of three speech enhancement schemes based on multiband nonlinear expansion of temporal envelope fluctuations between 10 and 20 Hz: (a) "idealized" envelope expansion of the speech before the addition of stationary background noise, (b) envelope expansion of the noisy speech, and (c) envelope expansion of only those time-frequency segments of the noisy speech that exhibited signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) above -10 dB. Linear processing was considered as a reference condition...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Emily Buss, Margaret T Dillon, Meredith A Rooth, English R King, Ellen J Deres, Craig A Buchman, Harold C Pillsbury, Kevin D Brown
A FDA clinical trial was carried out to evaluate the potential benefit of cochlear implant (CI) use for adults with unilateral moderate-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss. Subjects were 20 adults with moderate-to-profound unilateral sensorineural hearing loss and normal or near-normal hearing on the other side. A MED-EL standard electrode was implanted in the impaired ear. Outcome measures included: (a) sound localization on the horizontal plane (11 positions, -90° to 90°), (b) word recognition in quiet with the CI alone, and (c) masked sentence recognition with the target at 0° and the masker at -90°, 0°, or 90°...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Steve Park, Xiying Guan, Youngwan Kim, Francis Pete X Creighton, Eric Wei, Ioannis John Kymissis, Hideko Heidi Nakajima, Elizabeth S Olson
We report the fabrication and characterization of a prototype polyvinylidene fluoride polymer-based implantable microphone for detecting sound inside gerbil and human cochleae. With the current configuration and amplification, the signal-to-noise ratios were sufficiently high for normally occurring sound pressures and frequencies (ear canal pressures >50-60 dB SPL and 0.1-10 kHz), though 10 to 20 dB poorer than for some hearing aid microphones. These results demonstrate the feasibility of the prototype devices as implantable microphones for the development of totally implantable cochlear implants...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Gitte Keidser, Elizabeth Convery
Self-fitting hearing aids (SFHAs)-devices that enable self-directed threshold measurements leading to a prescribed hearing aid (HA) setting, and fine-tuning, without the need for professional support-are now commercially available. This study examined outcomes obtained with one commercial SFHA, the Companion (SoundWorld Solutions), when support was available from a clinical assistant during self-fitting. Participants consisted of 27 experienced and 25 new HA users who completed the self-fitting process, resulting in 38 user-driven and 14 clinician-driven fittings...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
René H Gifford, Jack H Noble, Stephen M Camarata, Linsey W Sunderhaus, Robert T Dwyer, Benoit M Dawant, Mary S Dietrich, Robert F Labadie
Adult cochlear implant (CI) recipients demonstrate a reliable relationship between spectral modulation detection and speech understanding. Prior studies documenting this relationship have focused on postlingually deafened adult CI recipients-leaving an open question regarding the relationship between spectral resolution and speech understanding for adults and children with prelingual onset of deafness. Here, we report CI performance on the measures of speech recognition and spectral modulation detection for 578 CI recipients including 477 postlingual adults, 65 prelingual adults, and 36 prelingual pediatric CI users...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Mishaela DiNino, Julie G Arenberg
Children's performance on psychoacoustic tasks improves with age, but inadequate auditory input may delay this maturation. Cochlear implant (CI) users receive a degraded auditory signal with reduced frequency resolution compared with normal, acoustic hearing; thus, immature auditory abilities may contribute to the variation among pediatric CI users' speech recognition scores. This study investigated relationships between age-related variables, spectral resolution, and vowel identification scores in prelingually deafened, early-implanted children with CIs compared with normal hearing (NH) children...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Gurjit Singh, Stefan Launer
To date, there is little understanding of how contextual factors may influence the decisions individuals make regarding the adoption of options for hearing rehabilitation. This explorative retrospective study investigated whether hearing aid adoption and return rates are associated with the time of the day at which an appointment takes place. The study sample consisted of 24,842 patients experiencing their first audiology appointment. It was observed that hearing aid adoption was significantly associated with appointment times whereby lower hearing aid adoption rates were observed at noon and 4 p...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Alan Kan
For patients with bilateral cochlear implants (BiCIs), understanding a target talker in a noisy situation can be difficult. Current efforts for improving speech-in-noise understanding have focused on improving signal-to-noise ratio by using multiple microphones or signal processing, with only moderate improvements in speech understanding performance. However, BiCI users typically report having a better ear for listening which can lead to an asymmetry in speech unmasking performance. This work proposes a novel listening strategy for improving speech-in-noise understanding by combining (a) a priori knowledge of a better ear and having a BiCI user selectively attend to a target talker in that ear with (b) signal processing that delivers the target talker to the better ear and the noisy background to the opposite ear...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Philippe Fournier, Anne-Flore Cuvillier, Stéphane Gallego, Fabien Paolino, Michel Paolino, Anne Quemar, Alain Londero, Arnaud Norena
Tinnitus masking and residual inhibition (RI) are two well-known psychoacoustic measures of tinnitus. While it has long been suggested that they may provide diagnostic and prognostic information, these measures are still rarely performed in clinics, as they are too time consuming. Given this issue, the main goal of the present study was to validate a new method for assessing these measures. An acoustic sequence made of pulsed stimuli, which included a fixed stimulus duration and interstimulus interval, was applied to 68 tinnitus patients at two testing sites...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Mahmoud Keshavarzi, Tobias Goehring, Justin Zakis, Richard E Turner, Brian C J Moore
Despite great advances in hearing-aid technology, users still experience problems with noise in windy environments. The potential benefits of using a deep recurrent neural network (RNN) for reducing wind noise were assessed. The RNN was trained using recordings of the output of the two microphones of a behind-the-ear hearing aid in response to male and female speech at various azimuths in the presence of noise produced by wind from various azimuths with a velocity of 3 m/s, using the "clean" speech as a reference...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Marc R Schädler, Anna Warzybok, Birger Kollmeier
The simulation framework for auditory discrimination experiments (FADE) was adopted and validated to predict the individual speech-in-noise recognition performance of listeners with normal and impaired hearing with and without a given hearing-aid algorithm. FADE uses a simple automatic speech recognizer (ASR) to estimate the lowest achievable speech reception thresholds (SRTs) from simulated speech recognition experiments in an objective way, independent from any empirical reference data. Empirical data from the literature were used to evaluate the model in terms of predicted SRTs and benefits in SRT with the German matrix sentence recognition test when using eight single- and multichannel binaural noise-reduction algorithms...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Joshua G W Bernstein, Olga A Stakhovskaya, Gerald I Schuchman, Kenneth K Jensen, Matthew J Goupell
Current clinical practice in programming a cochlear implant (CI) for individuals with single-sided deafness (SSD) is to maximize the transmission of speech information via the implant, with the implicit assumption that this will also result in improved spatial-hearing abilities. However, binaural sensitivity is reduced by interaural place-of-stimulation mismatch, a likely occurrence with a standard CI frequency-to-electrode allocation table (FAT). As a step toward reducing interaural mismatch, this study investigated whether a test of interaural-time-difference (ITD) discrimination could be used to estimate the acoustic frequency yielding the best place match for a given CI electrode...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Christina D Fuller, John J Galvin, Bert Maat, Deniz Başkent, Rolien H Free
In normal-hearing (NH) adults, long-term music training may benefit music and speech perception, even when listening to spectro-temporally degraded signals as experienced by cochlear implant (CI) users. In this study, we compared two different music training approaches in CI users and their effects on speech and music perception, as it remains unclear which approach to music training might be best. The approaches differed in terms of music exercises and social interaction. For the pitch/timbre group, melodic contour identification (MCI) training was performed using computer software...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Yingjiu Nie, John J Galvin, Michael Morikawa, Victoria André, Harley Wheeler, Qian-Jie Fu
This study examined music and speech perception in normal-hearing children with some or no musical training. Thirty children (mean age = 11.3 years), 15 with and 15 without formal music training participated in the study. Music perception was measured using a melodic contour identification (MCI) task; stimuli were a piano sample or sung speech with a fixed timbre (same word for each note) or a mixed timbre (different words for each note). Speech perception was measured in quiet and in steady noise using a matrix-styled sentence recognition task; stimuli were naturally intonated speech or sung speech with a fixed pitch (same note for each word) or a mixed pitch (different notes for each word)...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Defne Alfandari, Chris Vriend, Dirk J Heslenfeld, Niek J Versfeld, Sophia E Kramer, Adriana A Zekveld
Speech comprehension depends on the successful operation of a network of brain regions. Processing of degraded speech is associated with different patterns of brain activity in comparison with that of high-quality speech. In this exploratory study, we studied whether processing degraded auditory input in daily life because of hearing impairment is associated with differences in brain volume. We compared T1-weighted structural magnetic resonance images of 17 hearing-impaired (HI) adults with those of 17 normal-hearing (NH) controls using a voxel-based morphometry analysis...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Sébastien Santurette, Jakob Christensen-Dalsgaard, Lisbeth Tranebjærg, Ture Andersen, Torben Poulsen, Torsten Dau
Our auditory environment is constantly changing and evolving over time, requiring us to rapidly adapt to a complex dynamic sensory input. This adaptive ability of our auditory system can be observed at different levels, from individual cell responses to complex neural mechanisms and behavior, and is essential to achieve successful speech communication, correct orientation in our full environment, and eventually survival. These adaptive processes may differ in individuals with hearing loss, whose auditory system may cope via "readapting" itself over a longer time scale to the changes in sensory input induced by hearing impairment and the compensation provided by hearing devices...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Martin Pienkowski
Hearing loss changes the auditory brain, sometimes maladaptively. When deprived of cochlear input, central auditory neurons become more active spontaneously and begin to respond more strongly and synchronously to better preserved sound frequencies. This spontaneous and sound-evoked central hyperactivity has been postulated to trigger tinnitus and hyperacusis, respectively. Localized hyperactivity has also been observed after long-term exposure to noise levels that do not damage the cochlea. Adult animals exposed to bands of nondamaging noise exhibited suppressed spontaneous and sound-evoked activity in the area of primary auditory cortex (A1) stimulated by the exposure band but had increased spontaneous and evoked activity in neighboring A1 areas...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
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