To improve speech perception for cochlear implant (CI) users, it is essential to improve the transmission of temporal envelopes. The most common speech processors deliver temporal envelopes via the CI using fixed-rate amplitude modulated (AM) pulse trains. Psychophysical studies suggest that rate modulation (RM) and AM are perceived by a shared temporal integration mechanism, but the potential for them to constructively combine to encode temporal envelopes has yet to be explored. In this experiment, a speech processing strategy called amplitude and rate temporal modulation was developed to encode speech temporal envelopes with simultaneous AM and RM. The strategy was tested for perception of clean speech at 60 and 40 dBA, and 60 dBA speech in noise (+10 dB SNR). The amount of RM was varied and the amount of AM was held constant to determine whether the addition of RM could enhance the perception of temporal envelopes and improve speech understanding. At the lowest RM amount, speech scores were poorest for all speech conditions. For 60 dBA clean speech and speech in noise, speech scores were significantly better at the highest RM amounts, suggesting that RM combined with AM can be used to enhance perception of temporal envelopes.
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October 10 2018
Encoding speech in cochlear implants using simultaneous amplitude and rate modulation
Tim Brochier, Colette McKay, Hugh McDermott; Encoding speech in cochlear implants using simultaneous amplitude and rate modulation. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 1 October 2018; 144 (4): 2042–2051. https://doi.org/10.1121/1.5055989
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