Chinese sentence recognition strongly relates to the reception of tonal information. For cochlear implant (CI) users with residual acoustic hearing, tonal information may be enhanced by restoring low-frequency acoustic cues in the nonimplanted ear. The present study investigated the contribution of low-frequency acoustic information to Chinese speech recognition in Mandarin-speaking normal-hearing subjects listening to acoustic simulations of bilaterally combined electric and acoustic hearing. Subjects listened to a 6-channel CI simulation in one ear and low-pass filtered speech in the other ear. Chinese tone, phoneme, and sentence recognition were measured in steady-state, speech-shaped noise, as a function of the cutoff frequency for low-pass filtered speech. Results showed that low-frequency acoustic information below 500 Hz contributed most strongly to tone recognition, while low-frequency acoustic information above 500 Hz contributed most strongly to phoneme recognition. For Chinese sentences, speech reception thresholds (SRTs) improved with increasing amounts of low-frequency acoustic information, and significantly improved when low-frequency acoustic information above 500 Hz was preserved. SRTs were not significantly affected by the degree of spectral overlap between the CI simulation and low-pass filtered speech. These results suggest that, for CI patients with residual acoustic hearing, preserving low-frequency acoustic information can improve Chinese speech recognition in noise.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics