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Research of Apical Effect on Music Perception - preliminary study
Huang M. , Chen K. , Lien M.
Cheng Hsin General Hospital, ENT, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China
Introduction: Cochlear implant (CI) has been known to significantly improve recipients' speech perception in
quiet environments. However, it is still unknown about the apical effect of CI with regard to music perception. The
aim of the study is to investigate the CI with long electrode arrays from MED-EL were studied in order to see if
music perception ability is affected with long electrode arrays that reach the apical end of the cochlea.
Methods: All participants take diatonic scales discrimination test (DSDT) which includes four experimental
treatments: all electrodes activated (ALL), apical electrodes deactivated (A), basal electrodes deactivated (B),
and interval electrodes deactivated (I). Participants need to distinguish in total 392 pairs of diatonic scales
between due to si (14 scales). They need to tell which one scale is higher than the other. Apart from diatonic
scales discrimination test, we proceed sound field test and word discrimination score (WDS). All experiments
data are examined in statistics.
Results: In DSDT, the group of ALL is better than the other three groups with statistic significant. Though the
group of B has the worst performance within these three groups (A, B, I), it doesn't reach the statistic significant
level. In WDS, it is the same that the group of ALL has better results than the other three groups with statistic
significant. Then, the group of I has better performance than these two groups of A and B with statistic significant
level. Further, there is no difference between groups of A and B deactivated on their WDS performance.
Discussion: According to the data we collected, it shows that reducing the electrodes effects the performances,
no matter on DSDT or WDS. In DSDT, it seems that the group of B performs worse than the group of A. In other
words, there is no apical effect in this experiment. As a result of the basal electrodes deactivated, it effects the
perception of high frequency; it may make participants lose the clues of harmonics, which will make them difficult
to make discriminations. Further, this research is unable to access the parameters setting of MED-EL fitting
software. Therefore, it may be possible that the parameters setting of MED-EL fitting per se make no differences
among three electrodes deactivated groups. Then in WDS, the group of I performs better than the group of A
and B. However, comparing to the group of ALL, the group of ALL still performs the best with statistic significant
level. Thus, when implant has problems, we still need to sort it out as soon as possible, and keep tracking
recipients' speech perceptions.
Limitation and Suggestion: Owing to the limited access to the parameters of MED-EL software, we suggest
that future studies shall have better access and control of all parameters of software. Additionally, it is also
possible to include other melody discrimination test in further experiment and to investigate the wrong patterns.