Title
Bilateral cochlear implants in children: binaural unmasking Bilateral cochlear implants in children: binaural unmasking
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Publication type
article
Publication
Basel ,
Subject
Human medicine
Source (journal)
Audiology and neuro-otology. - Basel
Volume/pages
14(2009) :4 , p. 240-247
ISSN
1420-3030
ISI
000265861900005
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Bilateral cochlear implants (CIs) may offer deaf children a range of advantages compared to unilateral CIs. However, speech perception in noise is mainly facilitated by better-ear effects and much less by interaural comparisons or true 'binaural' hearing. Little is known about the development of the binaural auditory system with CIs provided at a young age. It is possible that, as with adults, binaural sensitivity exists but is not accessed due to technical limitations in electrical stimulation methods. In this paper, we present results on binaural hearing in children with bilateral CIs. Binaural masking level differences (BMLDs) were measured for a 180-degree phase shift in a 125-Hz sinusoid, presented in a 50-Hz-wide noise band and modulating a 1000-pps carrier pulse train. Stimuli were presented to a single electrode in the middle of the electrode array at both ears. Eight children between 6 and 15 years of age participated in this study. Six children had a significantly better detection threshold when the signal was out of phase (dichotic) between two ears than when it was in phase (diotic), with a mean difference (BMLD) of 6.4 dB. The present results show that children with bilateral CIs are sensitive to binaural cues in electrical stimuli, similar to adults, even when implants are provided at a later age and with a longer delay between implantations.
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