The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America vol:105 issue:4 pages:2476-84
A new method to code the speech envelope in continuous interleaved sampling (CIS) processors for cochlear implants is proposed. In this enhanced envelope, the rapid adaptation seen in the response of auditory nerves to sound stimuli is incorporated. Two strategies, one using the standard envelope (CIS) and one using the enhanced envelope (EECIS), were tested perceptually with six postlingually deafened users of the LAURA cochlear implant. The tests included identification of stop consonants in three different vowel contexts and monosyllabic consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) words. Significant improvements in correct identification scores were observed for stop consonants in intervocalic /a/ context (p = 0.026): average results varied from 46% correct for CIS to 55% for EECIS. This improvement was mainly due to the better transmission of place of articulation. The differences in identification scores for stop consonants in /i/ and /u/ context were not significant. The identification scores for the medial vowels of the CVC words were significantly higher when the EECIS strategy was used: average results increased from 39% correct to 46% correct (p = 0.018). No significant differences were observed between the results for initial and final consonants of the CVC words. The present results demonstrate that the inclusion of the rapid adaptation in the speech processing for cochlear implants can improve speech intelligibility.