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Wong L.L.N.,University of Hong Kong | Ng E.H.N.,University of Hong Kong | Soli S.D.,Third Ear
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America | Year: 2012

This study examined (1) the effects of noise on speech understanding and (2) whether performance in real-life noises could be predicted based on performance in steady-state speech-spectrum-shaped noise. The noise conditions included a steady-state speech-spectrum-shaped noise and six types of real-life noise. Thirty normal-hearing adults were tested using sentence materials from the Cantonese Hearing In Noise Test (CHINT). To achieve the first aim, the performance-intensity function slopes in these noise conditions were estimated and compared. Variations in performance-intensity function slopes were attributed to differences in the amount of amplitude fluctuations and the presence of competing background speech. How well the data obtained in real-life noises fit the performance-intensity functions obtained in steady-state speech-spectrum-shaped noises was examined for the second aim of the study. Four out of six types of noise yielded performance-intensity function slopes similar to that in steady-state speech-spectrum-shaped noise. After accounting for individual differences in sentence reception threshold (SRT) and the offset between the signal-to-noise ratio for 50 intelligibility across different types of noise, performance in steady-state speech-spectrum-shaped noise was found to predict well the performance in most of the real-life noise conditions. © 2012 Acoustical Society of America.


Derebery M.J.,Third Ear | Derebery M.J.,University of Southern California | Berliner K.I.,Third Ear
Otolaryngologic Clinics of North America | Year: 2010

Ménière's disease (MD), which by definition is idiopathic, has been ascribed to various causes, including inhalant and food allergies. Patients with MD report higher rates of allergy history and positive skin or in vitro tests compared with a control group of patients with other otologic diseases and to the general public. Recent immunologic studies have shown higher rates of circulating immune complexes, CD4, and other immunologic components in patients with MD compared with normal controls. Published treatment results have shown benefit from immunotherapy and/or dietary restriction for symptoms of MD in patients who present with allergy and MD. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.


Oba S.I.,Third Ear | Fu Q.-J.,Third Ear | Fu Q.-J.,University of Southern California | Galvin J.J.,Third Ear
Ear and Hearing | Year: 2011

Objective: While auditory training in quiet has been shown to improve cochlear implant (CI) users' speech understanding in quiet, it is unclear whether training in noise will benefit speech understanding in noise. The present study investigated whether auditory training could improve CI users' speech recognition in noise and whether training with familiar stimuli in an easy listening task (closed-set digit recognition) would improve recognition of unfamiliar stimuli in a more difficult task (open-set sentence recognition). Design: CI users' speech understanding in noise was assessed before, during, and after auditory training with a closed-set recognition task (digits identification) in speech babble. Before training was begun, recognition of digits, Hearing in Noise Test (HINT) sentences, and IEEE sentences presented in steady speech-shaped noise or multitalker speech babble was repeatedly measured to establish a stable estimate of baseline performance. After completing baseline measures, participants trained at home on their personal computers using custom software for approximately 30 mins/day, 5 days/wk, for 4 wks, for a total of 10 hrs of training. Participants were trained only to identify random sequences of three digits presented in speech babble, using a closed-set task. During training, the signal-to-noise ratio was adjusted according to subject performance; auditory and visual feedback was provided. Recognition of digits, HINT sentences, and IEEE sentences in steady noise and speech babble was remeasured after the second and fourth week of training. Training was stopped after the fourth week, and subjects returned to the laboratory 1 mo later for follow-up testing to see whether any training benefits had been retained. Results: Mean results showed that the digit training in babble significantly improved digit recognition in babble (which was trained) and in steady noise (which was not trained). The training benefit generalized to improved HINT and IEEE sentence recognition in both types of noise. Training benefits were largely retained in follow-up measures made 1 mo after training was stopped. Conclusions: The results demonstrated that auditory training in noise significantly improved CI users' speech performance in noise, and that training with simple stimuli using an easy closed-set listening task improved performance with difficult stimuli and a difficult open-set listening task. Copyright © 2011 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Luo X.,Purdue University | Galvin J.J.,Third Ear | Fu Q.-J.,Third Ear
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America | Year: 2010

This study investigated temporal integration processes underlying cochlear implant (CI) users' amplitude modulation processing. Thresholds for modulation detection (AMDTs) and modulation frequency discrimination (AMFDTs) were measured for 50-, 100-, and 200-Hz modulation frequencies with stimulus durations from 50 to 400 ms in eight adult CI users. The results showed significant interactions between modulation frequency and stimulus duration for AMDTs and AMFDTs. The data suggest that temporal integration limits CI users' sensitivity to low temporal pitch over short durations, and that temporal integration over longer durations may not enhance CI users' sensitivity to high temporal pitch. © 2010 Acoustical Society of America.


Abdala C.,Third Ear | Dhar S.,Northwestern University
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America | Year: 2010

Apical distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) are comprised of at least two components, as evidenced by the interference pattern of alternating maxima and minima known as fine structure. DPOAE fine structure is produced by the shifting phase relationship in the ear canal, between the generator and characteristic frequency (CF) component of the response. Each component arises from a different cochlear region and, according to theory, reflects a distinct generation mechanism. The analysis of DPOAE components and phase in newborns may provide a window into targeted aspects of cochlear physiology during development. 2 f1 - f2 DPOAE fine structure was recorded from 15 adults and 14 newborns using a swept-tone technique. DPOAE group delay, as well as magnitude and phase of each component, was compared between age groups. Results show narrower fine structure spacing, a longer group delay (steeper phase gradient) in low frequencies, and a stronger relative contribution from the CF component in newborns. The prolonged group delay for low-frequency DPOAEs could indicate immature basilar membrane motion in the apex of the cochlea and warrants further investigation. The enhanced contribution from the CF component may have implications for clinical practice as well as for theories of cochlear maturation. © 2010 Acoustical Society of America.


Abdala C.,Third Ear | Dhar S.,Northwestern University
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America | Year: 2010

DPOAE (2 f1 - f2) phase was measured across a 3-octave frequency range from two groups of newborns using ER10B+ and ER10C probe microphones. A marked phase shift was noted in the mid-to-high frequency range for newborn data recorded with the ER10C only. In contrast, the ER10B+ produced phase that was approximately invariant as a function of frequency for most of the range. Probe-related phase shifts can be effectively eliminated by correcting for variations in the phases of the primary tones. Results highlight the importance of detecting and correcting for system-related phase shifts so they are not misinterpreted as cochlear in origin. © 2010 Acoustical Society of America.


Sagi E.,New York University | Fu Q.-J.,Third Ear | Galvin J.J.,Third Ear | Svirsky M.A.,New York University
JARO - Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology | Year: 2010

In the present study, a computational model of phoneme identification was applied to data from a previous study, wherein cochlear implant (CI) users' adaption to a severely shifted frequency allocation map was assessed regularly over 3 months of continual use. This map provided more input filters below 1 kHz, but at the expense of introducing a downwards frequency shift of up to one octave in relation to the CI subjects' clinical maps. At the end of the 3-month study period, it was unclear whether subjects' asymptotic speech recognition performance represented a complete or partial adaptation. To clarify the matter, the computational model was applied to the CI subjects' vowel identification data in order to estimate the degree of adaptation, and to predict performance levels with complete adaptation to the frequency shift. Two model parameters were used to quantify this adaptation; one representing the listener's ability to shift their internal representation of how vowels should sound, and the other representing the listener's uncertainty in consistently recalling these representations. Two of the three CI users could shift their internal representations towards the new stimulation pattern within 1 week, whereas one could not do so completely even after 3 months. Subjects' uncertainty for recalling these representations increased substantially with the frequency-shifted map. Although this uncertainty decreased after 3 months, it remained much larger than subjects' uncertainty with their clinically assigned maps. This result suggests that subjects could not completely remap their phoneme labels, stored in long-term memory, towards the frequency-shifted vowels. The model also predicted that even with complete adaptation, the frequency-shifted map would not have resulted in improved speech understanding. Hence, the model presented here can be used to assess adaptation, and the anticipated gains in speech perception expected from changing a given CI device parameter. © 2009 Association for Research in Otolaryngology.


Derebery M.J.,Third Ear
Otolaryngologic Clinics of North America | Year: 2011

Ménière's disease (MD), which by definition is idiopathic, has been ascribed to various causes, including both inhalant and food allergies. Patients with MD report higher rates of allergy history and positive skin or in vitro tests compared with a control group of patients with other otologic diseases and to the general public. Recent immunologic studies have shown higher rates of circulating immune complexes, CD4, and other immunologic components in patients with MD compared with healthy controls. Published treatment results have shown benefit from immunotherapy and/or dietary restriction for symptoms of MD in those patients who present with both allergy and MD. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.


Shannon R.V.,Third Ear | Cruz R.J.,Third Ear | Galvin J.J.,Third Ear
Audiology and Neurotology | Year: 2011

High stimulation rates in cochlear implants (CI) offer better temporal sampling, can induce stochastic-like firing of auditory neurons and can increase the electric dynamic range, all of which could improve CI speech performance. While commercial CI have employed increasingly high stimulation rates, no clear or consistent advantage has been shown for high rates. In this study, speech recognition was acutely measured with experimental processors in 7 CI subjects (Clarion CII users). The stimulation rate varied between (approx.) 600 and 4800 pulses per second per electrode (ppse) and the number of active electrodes varied between 4 and 16. Vowel, consonant, consonant-nucleus-consonant word and IEEE sentence recognition was acutely measured in quiet and in steady noise (+10 dB signal-to-noise ratio). Subjective quality ratings were obtained for each of the experimental processors in quiet and in noise. Except for a small difference for vowel recognition in quiet, there were no significant differences in performance among the experimental stimulation rates for any of the speech measures. There was also a small but significant increase in subjective quality rating as stimulation rates increased from 1200 to 2400 ppse in noise. Consistent with previous studies, performance significantly improved as the number of electrodes was increased from 4 to 8, but no significant difference showed between 8, 12 and 16 electrodes. Altogether, there was little-to-no advantage of high stimulation rates in quiet or in noise, at least for the present speech tests and conditions. Copyright © 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.


Fu Q.-J.,Third Ear | Zhu M.,Third Ear | Wang X.,Third Ear
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America | Year: 2011

Currently there are few standardized speech testing materials for Mandarin-speaking cochlear implant (CI) listeners. In this study, Mandarin speech perception (MSP) sentence test materials were developed and validated in normal-hearing subjects listening to acoustic simulations of CI processing. Percent distribution of vowels, consonants, and tones within each MSP sentence list was similar to that observed across commonly used Chinese characters. There was no significant difference in sentence recognition across sentence lists. Given the phonetic balancing within lists and the validation with spectrally degraded speech, the present MSP test materials may be useful for assessing speech performance of Mandarin-speaking CI listeners. © 2011 Acoustical Society of America.

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