Timbre Perception with Cochlear Implants

Jeremy Marozeau, Wiebke Lamping

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


The perception of timbre is fairly well understood for normal-hearing listeners; however, it is still unclear how hearing impairment affects this percept. This chapter addresses how people with severe hearing loss who have been fitted with a cochlear implant perceive timbre. A cochlear implant is a medical device that allows a deaf person to perceive sounds by stimulating their auditory nerve directly. Unlike a pair of glasses that perfectly restores sight, cochlear implants dramatically alter the audio signal. This chapter starts with a brief overview of the design and functioning of a cochlear implant, which is then followed by a discussion of how cochlear implant listeners perceive and identify musical instruments. Thereafter, insights on how cochlear implant listeners perceive the sound quality induced by simple electrical pulse trains will be provided. Finally, the chapter proposes some potential avenues to improve the sound quality experienced through a cochlear implant.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTimbre: Acoustics, Perception, and Cognition
EditorsKai Siedenburg, Charalampos Saitis, Stephen McAdams, Arthur N. Popper, Richard R. Fay
Publication date2019
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-14831-7
Publication statusPublished - 2019
SeriesSpringer Handbook of Auditory Research


  • Deafness
  • Hearing impaired
  • Hearing loss
  • Instrument recognition
  • Multidimensional scaling
  • Music perception
  • Sound quality

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Timbre Perception with Cochlear Implants'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this