Sprachwahrnehmung mit Cochlea ImplantatenSpeech perception with cochlear implants

Speech perception with cochlear implants

The cochlear implant (CI) allows electrical stimulation of the auditory nerve. By means of a speech processor, the sound signals are converted into electrical signals and transmitted transcutaneously to the implant. A CI is typically indicated for severe to profound hearing loss.



Due to the limited transmission of natural acoustic features, the communication of persons provided with cochlear implants is subject to certain restrictions. However, cochlear implantation often results in good speech intelligibility and may even allow for communication using the telephone.



Our work relates to several aspects of speech perception with CIs. For instance, it focuses on the perception of suprasegmental features of speech that have a distinct function for communication. These include prosody, and namely word and sentence accent (stress patterns) or intonation patterns (e.g., questions vs. statements). Adequate processing of prosodic features is particularly important, for example, in language acquisition in early childhood.



We also focus on speech recognition with competing talkers. These are especially demanding communication situations since information from different sound sources has to be processed. We are particularly interested in the questions of whether CI recipients are able to segregate different talkers based on voice cues (such as fundamental frequency) or the spatial distribution of the sound sources. The research projects are typically conducted in cooperation with partners from the cochlear implant industry in order to directly address clinically relevant issues.



Selected publications:


Pyschny V, Landwehr M, Hahn M, Lang-Roth R, Walger M, Meister H. Head shadow, squelch, and summation effects with an energetic or informational masker in bilateral and bimodal CI users. J Speech Lang Hear Res. 2014, Oct;57(5):1942-60.


Landwehr M, Fürstenberg D, Walger M, von Wedel H, Meister H. Effects of
various electrode configurations on music perception, intonation and speaker
gender identification. Cochlear Implants Int. 2014 Jan;15(1):27-35.


Meister H, Landwehr M, Pyschny V, Grugel L, Walger M. Use of intonation
contours for speech recognition in noise by cochlear implant recipients. J Acoust Soc Am. 2011 May;129(5):EL204-9.


Meister H, Landwehr M, Pyschny V, Walger M, von Wedel H. The perception of
prosody and speaker gender in normal-hearing listeners and cochlear implant
recipients. Int J Audiol. 2009 Jan;48(1):38-48.



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