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Association of music recognition and speech perception in children with bilateral cochlear implants:
Effects of music training, implanted side and binaural hearing
Kanda Y. , Wakasugi C. , Nakata T. , Yoshida H. , Hara M. , Hatachi K. , Watanabe T. , Itou A. , Miyamoto
M. , Hayashida S. , Takahashi H.
Kanda ENT Clinic, Nagasaki Bell Hearing Center, Nagasaki, Japan, 2Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Nagasaki
University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Nagasaki, Japan, 3Department of Complex and Intelligent Systems, Future University
Hakodate, Hakodate, Japan
Introduction: It has been said that music recognition by cochlear implant (CI) is difficult, however, a recent study
has shown that children with CI can enjoy music, sing and also have the ability to identify well-known music
using sheet music. In our study, when children were exposed to and also actively listened to music at home
starting at a young age with CI, this resulted in higher word recognition scores. In this presentation, we compare
performance on speech perception tasks in musically trained and untrained bilaterally implanted children and
teens. We will also examine effects of implanted side on speech perception tasks.
Materials and methods: Twenty three children or teens with CI were tested on their recognition of familiar
melodies sung using only the syllable 'la' with the music being played by a piano. Twelve were taking or had
taken music lessons pre- or post-operatively and eleven had no formal musical training. We performed music
recognition test (see Nakata, et al. in this proceeding for the procedure). Furthermore, we evaluated word
recognition scores (WRS) and speech discrimination scores (SDS) under silent & noisy conditions on 23 children
with bilateral CIs who had already acquired language.
Results: There was a main effect of musical training for SDS at 60 dB without noise indicating that child and
teen CI users with musical training outperforming untrained counterparts (p < .001). Furthermore, t-tests
revealed significantly higher performance by musically trained than untrained child and teen CI users in some
speech perception tasks. On WRS, musically trained children and teens outperformed their non-musically trained
counterparts at 60 dB SPL when tested with bilateral CIs (p < .02). For monosyllabic SDS, again the musically
trained group outperformed their non-musically trained counterparts at both 60 dB when tested with 1 CI (p <
.05), and 70 dB with bilateral implants as well as 1 CI, (ps < .02). Bilateral performance was significantly better
than 1st CI and 2nd CI when the test was done with the presence of noise (p< 0.001). Four children who
received their 2 CI at the age 6 or younger and started to enroll in music lessons at age 3 had perfect scores
on the music recognition test. Furthermore, those four children excelled in speech perception tests. Their scores
revealed 100% at 60dBSPL and 96-100% at 70dBSPL on WRS, 90-100% at 60dBSPL and at 70dBSPL on SDS
and 75-85% on SDS under the noise (S/N=80/70). Overall, children and teens with musical training recognized
melodies significantly better than those with no musical training. We are hopeful in also expecting improvement
of in the pitch recognizing ability and in the phoneme speech perception of children with CI with the help of music
lessons and binaural hearing strategy.