Sequential stream segregation by normal hearing (NH) and cochlear implant (CI) listeners was investigated using an irregular rhythm detection (IRD) task. Pure tones and narrowband noises of different bandwidths were presented monaurally to older and younger NH listeners via headphones. For CI users, stimuli were delivered as pure tones via soundfield and via direct electrical stimulation. Results confirmed that tonal pitch is not essential for stream segregation by NH listeners and that aging does not reduce NH listeners' stream segregation. CI listeners' stream segregation was significantly poorer than NH listeners' with pure tone stimuli. With direct stimulation, however, CI listeners showed significantly stronger stream segregation, with a mean normalized pattern similar to NH listeners, implying that the CI speech processors possibly degraded acoustic cues. CI listeners' performance on an electrode discrimination task indicated that cues that are salient enough to make two electrodes highly discriminable may not be sufficiently salient for stream segregation, and that gap detection/discrimination, which must depend on perceptual electrode differences, did not play a role in the IRD task. Although the IRD task does not encompass all aspects of full stream segregation, these results suggest that some CI listeners may demonstrate aspects of stream segregation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics