The objective of this study was to investigate charge-integration at threshold by cochlear implant listeners using pulse train stimuli in different stimulation modes (monopolar, bipolar, tripolar). The results partially confirmed and extended the findings of previous studies conducted in animal models showing that charge-integration depends on the stimulation mode. The primary overall finding was that threshold vs pulse phase duration functions had steeper slopes in monopolar mode and shallower slopes in more spatially restricted modes. While the result was clear-cut in eight users of the Cochlear CorporationTM device, the findings with the six user of the Advanced BionicsTM device who participated were less consistent. It is likely that different stimulation modes excite different neuronal populations and/or sites of excitation on the same neuron (e.g., peripheral process vs central axon). These differences may influence not only charge integration but possibly also temporal dynamics at suprathreshold levels and with more speech-relevant stimuli. Given the present interest in focused stimulation modes, these results have implications for cochlear implant speech processor design and protocols used to map acoustic amplitude to electric stimulation parameters.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics