A psychoacoustic application for the adjustment of electrical hearing thresholds in cochlear implant patients

Autoři: Johannes Plesch aff001;  Benjamin P. Ernst aff002;  Sebastian Strieth aff002;  Tobias Rader aff001
Působiště autorů: Division of Audiological Acoustics, Department of Otolaryngology, University Medical Center, Mainz, Germany aff001;  Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, University Medical Center, Mainz, Germany aff002
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(10)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0223625



Fitting cochlear implants, especially the precise determination of electrical hearing thresholds, is a time-consuming and complex task for patients as well as audiologists. Aim of the study was to develop a method that enables cochlear implant (CI) patients to determine their electrical hearing thresholds precisely and independently. Applicability and impact of this method on speech perception in noise at soft speech levels were evaluated.


An adaptive psychoacoustic procedure for precise hearing threshold determination (precT) was implemented using MatLab (MathWorks) and a graphical user interface was created. Sound signals were calibrated with a CIC4-Implant-Decoder. Study design: A prospective study including 15 experienced adult cochlear implant users was conducted. Electrical hearing thresholds were determined using the automated precT procedure (auto-precT). Speech perception in noise at 50 dB SPL presentation levels was measured for three conditions: (P1) T-levels kept at the previously established T-levels; (P2) T-levels set to the hearing thresholds determined using auto-precT application; (P3) T-levels set 10 cu below the values determined with auto-precT.


All subjects were able to perform the auto-precT application independently. T-levels were altered on average by an absolute value of 10.5 cu using auto-precT. Median speech reception thresholds were significantly improved from 2.5 dB SNR (P1) to 1.6 dB SNR (P2, p = 0.02). Speech perception was lowest using the globally lowered T-levels, median 2.9 dB SNR (P3, not significant compared to P1 and P2).


The applicability of the developed auto-precT application was confirmed in the present clinical study. Patients benefited from adjusting previously established T-levels to the threshold levels determined by the auto-precT application. The integration of the application in the clinical fitting routine as well as a remote fitting software approach is recommended. Furthermore, future possibilities of auto-precT include the implementation of the application on tablets or smart phones.

Klíčová slova:

Audio signal processing – Audiology – Computer software – Diet – Functional electrical stimulation – Hearing – Medical implants – Sensory perception


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2019 Číslo 10
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