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Musical Instrument Recognition in Combined Electric and Acoustic Cochlear Implant Simulations

The present study investigated listeners’ performance in a closed-set musical instrument recognition task through simulations of a cochlear implant (CI) and electric-acoustic stimulation (EAS), where the use of a CI is supplemented by a hearing aid to access low-frequency residual hearing. The recognition rates varied across the different musical instruments, with higher scores for instruments that were more rhythmic in nature. These findings support previous reports of the relatively greater salience of temporal envelope and rhythmic cues over other timbral and pitch based cues in cochlear implants. The provision of low-frequency cues in the EAS simulation led to higher recognition scores for individual instruments, indicating that EAS may have broad applications for improving the music perception abilities of CI users.

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