The effect of a coding strategy that removes temporally masked pulses on speech perception by cochlear implant users

Wiebke Lamping*, Tobias Goehring, Jeremy Marozeau, Robert P. Carlyon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Speech recognition in noisy environments remains a challenge for cochlear implant (CI) recipients. Unwanted charge interactions between current pulses, both within and between electrode channels, are likely to impair performance. Here we investigate the effect of reducing the number of current pulses on speech perception. This was achieved by implementing a psychoacoustic temporal-masking model where current pulses in each channel were passed through a temporal integrator to identify and remove pulses that were less likely to be perceived by the recipient. The decision criterion of the temporal integrator was varied to control the percentage of pulses removed in each condition. In experiment 1, speech in quiet was processed with a standard Continuous Interleaved Sampling (CIS) strategy and with 25, 50 and 75% of pulses removed. In experiment 2, performance was measured for speech in noise with the CIS reference and with 50 and 75% of pulses removed. Speech intelligibility in quiet revealed no significant difference between reference and test conditions. For speech in noise, results showed a significant improvement of 2.4 dB when removing 50% of pulses and performance was not significantly different between the reference and when 75% of pulses were removed. Further, by reducing the overall amount of current pulses by 25, 50, and 75% but accounting for the increase in charge necessary to compensate for the decrease in loudness, estimated average power savings of 21.15, 40.95, and 63.45%, respectively, could be possible for this set of listeners. In conclusion, removing temporally masked pulses may improve speech perception in noise and result in substantial power savings.
Original languageEnglish
Article number107969
JournalHearing Research
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Cochlear implant
  • Speech perception
  • Temporal integrator
  • Masking


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