Little is known about cochlear implant (CI) users' ability to process amplitude modulation (AM) under conditions of forward masking (forward-modulation detection/discrimination interference, or F-MDI). In this study, F-MDI was investigated in adult CI listeners using direct electrical stimulation via research interface. The target was sinusoidally amplitude modulated at 50 Hz, and presented to a fixed electrode in the middle of the array. The forward masker was either amplitude modulated at the same rate (AM) or unmodulated and presented at the peak amplitude of its AM counterpart (steady-state peak, SSP). Results showed that the AM masker produced higher modulation thresholds in the target than the SSP masker. The difference (F-MDI) was estimated to be 4.6 dB on average, and did not change with masker-target delays up to 100 ms or with masker-target spatial electrode distances up to eight electrodes. Results with a coherent remote cue presented with the masker showed that confusion effects did not play a role in the observed F-MDI. Traditional recovery from forward masking using the same maskers and a 20-ms probe, measured in four of the subjects, confirmed the expected result: higher thresholds with the SSP masker than the AM masker. Collectively, the results indicate that significant F-MDI occurs in CI users.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics