Recognition of periodically interrupted sentences (with an interruption rate of 1.5 Hz, 50% duty cycle) was investigated under conditions of spectral degradation, implemented with a noiseband vocoder, with and without additional unprocessed low-pass filtered speech (cutoff frequency 500 Hz). Intelligibility of interrupted speech decreased with increasing spectral degradation. For all spectral degradation conditions, however, adding the unprocessed low-pass filtered speech enhanced the intelligibility. The improvement at 4 and 8 channels was higher than the improvement at 16 and 32 channels: 19% and 8%, on average, respectively. The Articulation Index predicted an improvement of 0.09, in a scale from 0 to 1. Thus, the improvement at poorest spectral degradation conditions was larger than what would be expected from additional speech information. Therefore, the results implied that the fine temporal cues from the unprocessed low-frequency speech, such as the additional voice pitch cues, helped perceptual integration of temporally interrupted and spectrally degraded speech, especially when the spectral degradations were severe. Considering the vocoder processing as a cochlear implant simulation, where implant users' performance is closest to 4 and 8-channel vocoder performance, the results support additional benefit of low-frequency acoustic input in combined electric-acoustic stimulation for perception of temporally degraded speech.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems