Noise, Reverb, and Bilateral Cochlear Implants
Zheng et al (2011) evaluated individual and combined effects of reverb and noise, with regard to localization ability among bilateral cochlear implant users. In their study, they evaluated seven young adults (aged 23 to 54 years) with normal hearing (NH) and compared their results to two bilateral cochlear implant users (BiCI), aged 60 and 65 years.
Not surprisingly, BiCI users demonstrated significantly worse localization ability than did the NH group in quiet and noise. The authors reported that reverberation times of 0.2 and 0.4 seconds had a significant effect on BiCI users, yet no effect was recorded for the NH group. Zheng et al confirmed the combined impact of noise and reverb on localization ability was more deleterious for BiCI users than was the impact of either factor (noise, reverb) in isolation.
Zheng et al note that these findings are important with regard to designing cochlear implant processing strategies and when developing CI rehabilitation programs.
For More Information, References and Recommendations
Arbogast TL, Mason CR, Kidd G. (2005) The effect of spatial separation on informational masking of speech in normal-hearing and hearing-impaired listeners. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 117:2169-2180.
Culling JF, Akeroyd MA. (2010) "Spatial Hearing." In The Oxford Handbook of Auditory Science: Hearing. Chief Editor David R. Moore. Volume 3 Editor Christopher J. Plack. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-923355-7.
Looi V, Winter P, Anderson I, Sucher C. (2011) A Music Quality Rating Test battery for Cochlear Implant Users to Compare the FDP and HDCIS Strategies for Music Appreciation. International Journal of Audiology 50:503-518.
Noble W, Tyler RS, Dunn CC, Bhullar N. (2009) Younger and Older-Aged Adults With Unilateral and Bilateral Cochlear Implants: Speech and Spatial Hearing Self-Ratings and Performance. Otology & Neurotology (30)7:921-929.
Zheng Y, Koehnke J, Besing J, Spitzer J. (2011) Effects of Noise and Reverberation on Virtual Sound Localization for Listeners With Bilateral Cochlear Implants. Ear & Hearing 32(5):569-572.