Factors affecting talker discrimination ability in adult cochlear implant users

Michael M. Li, Aaron C. Moberly, Terrin N. Tamati*

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

    OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

    5 Citaten (Scopus)
    57 Downloads (Pure)


    Introduction: Real-world speech communication involves interacting with many talkers with diverse voices and accents. Many adults with cochlear implants (CIs) demonstrate poor talker discrimination, which may contribute to real-world communication difficulties. However, the factors contributing to talker discrimination ability, and how discrimination ability relates to speech recognition outcomes in adult CI users are still unknown. The current study investigated talker discrimination ability in adult CI users, and the contributions of age, auditory sensitivity, and neurocognitive skills. In addition, the relation between talker discrimination ability and multiple-talker sentence recognition was explored. Methods: Fourteen post-lingually deaf adult CI users (3 female, 11 male) with & GE;1 year of CI use completed a talker discrimination task. Participants listened to two monosyllabic English words, produced by the same talker or by two different talkers, and indicated if the words were produced by the same or different talkers. Nine female and nine male native English talkers were paired, resulting in same-and different-talker pairs as well as same-gender and mixed-gender pairs. Participants also completed measures of spectro-temporal processing, neurocognitive skills, and multiple-talker sentence recognition. Results: CI users showed poor same-gender talker discrimination, but relatively good mixed -gender talker discrimination. Older age and weaker neurocognitive skills, in particular inhibi-tory control, were associated with less accurate mixed-gender talker discrimination. Same-gender discrimination was significantly related to multiple-talker sentence recognition accuracy. Conclusion: Adult CI users demonstrate overall poor talker discrimination ability. Individual differences in mixed-gender discrimination ability were related to age and neurocognitive skills, suggesting that these factors contribute to the ability to make use of available, degraded talker characteristics. Same-gender talker discrimination was associated with multiple-talker sentence recognition, suggesting that access to subtle talker-specific cues may be important for speech recognition in challenging listening conditions.

    Originele taal-2English
    Aantal pagina's15
    TijdschriftJournal of Communication Disorders
    StatusPublished - sep.-2022

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