Postersession 2
Poster #: 26
Topic: Clinical applications (incl. consciousness)
Thursday, Sep 10, 2015
1st floor

Music perception in adult cochlear implant users

Alexander Mainka, Annegret Leuner, Dirk Mürbe, & Anja Hahne

Saxonian Cochlear Implant Center, TU Dresden, Dresden, Germany

A cochlear implant (CI) is a neuroprosthesis that directly stimulates the auditory nerve. Although the main focus of CI usage is the compensation of speech discrimination deficits, the study of musical features has elicited increasing scientific attention over the last years. This may be due to the fact that speech discrimination is ultimately depending on the discrimination of auditory parameters like rhythm, pitch or intensity which are easier to characterize in the terms of musical patterns than with speech based experimental settings.

36 CI users (19 woman, 17men; median age 53 years) and 36 matched normal hearing (NH) controls were tested with a modified multi feature musical paradigm (Vuust et al. 2011). We tested four deviant categories, namely pitch, timbre, intensity and rhythm.

Both groups, CI users as well as normal NH controls, exhibited MMN effects upon several deviant stimuli. Interestingly, peak-latencies appeared to show only small differences across groups. By contrast, MMN amplitudes were larger in NH controls.

The data demonstrate that CI users benefit from the electrical auditory input also in terms of their musical discriminatory abilities. However, they also show that there are certain limitations in auditory discrimination compared to normal hearing which may explain reduced musical appraisal in postlingually deafened CI users.