Effects of stimulus level and rate on psychophysical thresholds for interleaved pulse trains in cochlear implants

Michelle L. Hughes, Jenny L. Goehring, Jacquelyn L. Baudhuin, Kendra K. Schmid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined channel interactions using interleaved pulse trains to assess masking and potential facilitative effects in cochlear-implant recipients using clinically relevant stimuli. Psychophysical thresholds were measured for two adjacent mid-array electrodes; one served as the masker and the other as the probe. Two rates representative of those found in present-day strategies were tested: 1700 and 3400 pulses per second per channel. Four masker levels ranging from sub-threshold to loud-but-comfortable were tested. It was hypothesized that low-level maskers would produce facilitative effects, shifting to masking effects at high levels, and that faster rates would yield smaller masking effects due to greater stochastic neural firing patterns. Twenty-nine ears with Cochlear or Advanced Bionics devices were tested. High-level maskers produced more masking than low-level maskers, as expected. Facilitation was not observed for sub-threshold or threshold-level maskers in most cases. High masker levels yielded reduced probe thresholds for two Advanced Bionics subjects. This was partly eliminated with a longer temporal offset between each masker-probe pulse pair, as was used with Cochlear subjects. These findings support the use of temporal gaps between stimulation of subsequent electrodes to reduce channel interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2297-2311
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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