The use of static and dynamic vowel cues by multichannel cochlear implant users

Karen Iler Kirk, Nancy Tye‐Murray, Richard R. Hurtig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multichannel cochlear implant users vary greatly in their word‐recognition abilities. This study examined whether their word recognition was related to the use of either highly dynamic or relatively steady‐state vowel cues contained in /bVb/ and /wVb/ syllables. Nine conditions were created containing different combinations of formant transition, steady‐state, and duration cues. Because processor strategies differ, the ability to perceive static and dynamic information may depend on the type of cochlear implant used. Ten Nucleus and ten Ineraid subjects participated, along with 12 normal‐hearing control subjects. Vowel identification did not differ between implanted groups, but both were significantly poorer at identifying vowels than the normal‐hearing group. Vowel identification was best when at least two kinds of cues were available. Using only one type of cue, performance was better with excised vowels containing steady‐state formants than in ‘‘vowelless’’ syllables, where the center vocalic portion was deleted and transitions were joined. In the latter syllable type, Nucleus subjects identified vowels significantly better when /b/ was the initial consonant; the other two groups were not affected by specific consonantal context. Cochlear implant subjects’ word‐recognition was positively correlated with the use of dynamic vowel cues, but not with steady‐state cues.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3487-3498
JournalThe Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 1992
Externally publishedYes


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