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A neural-based vocoder implementation for evaluating cochlear implant coding strategies


El Boghdady, Nawal; Kegel, Andrea; Lai, Waikong; Dillier, Norbert (2016). A neural-based vocoder implementation for evaluating cochlear implant coding strategies. Hearing research, 333:136-149.

Abstract

Most simulations of cochlear implant (CI) coding strategies rely on standard vocoders that are based on purely signal processing techniques. However, these models neither account for various biophysical phenomena, such as neural stochasticity and refractoriness, nor for effects of electrical stimulation, such as spectral smearing as a function of stimulus intensity. In this paper, a neural model that accounts for stochastic firing, parasitic spread of excitation across neuron populations, and neuronal refractoriness, was developed and augmented as a preprocessing stage for a standard 22-channel noise-band vocoder. This model was used to subjectively and objectively assess consonant discrimination in commercial and experimental coding strategies.
Stimuli consisting of consonant-vowel (CV) and vowel-consonant-vowel (VCV) tokens were processed by either the Advanced Combination Encoder (ACE) or the Excitability Controlled Coding (ECC) strategies, and later resynthesized to audio using the aforementioned vocoder model. Baseline performance was measured using unprocessed versions of the speech tokens.
Behavioural responses were collected from seven normal hearing (NH) volunteers, while EEG data were recorded from five NH participants. Psychophysical results indicate that while there may be a difference in consonant perception between the two tested coding strategies, mismatch negativity (MMN) waveforms do not show any marked trends in CV or VCV contrast discrimination.

Abstract

Most simulations of cochlear implant (CI) coding strategies rely on standard vocoders that are based on purely signal processing techniques. However, these models neither account for various biophysical phenomena, such as neural stochasticity and refractoriness, nor for effects of electrical stimulation, such as spectral smearing as a function of stimulus intensity. In this paper, a neural model that accounts for stochastic firing, parasitic spread of excitation across neuron populations, and neuronal refractoriness, was developed and augmented as a preprocessing stage for a standard 22-channel noise-band vocoder. This model was used to subjectively and objectively assess consonant discrimination in commercial and experimental coding strategies.
Stimuli consisting of consonant-vowel (CV) and vowel-consonant-vowel (VCV) tokens were processed by either the Advanced Combination Encoder (ACE) or the Excitability Controlled Coding (ECC) strategies, and later resynthesized to audio using the aforementioned vocoder model. Baseline performance was measured using unprocessed versions of the speech tokens.
Behavioural responses were collected from seven normal hearing (NH) volunteers, while EEG data were recorded from five NH participants. Psychophysical results indicate that while there may be a difference in consonant perception between the two tested coding strategies, mismatch negativity (MMN) waveforms do not show any marked trends in CV or VCV contrast discrimination.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Otorhinolaryngology
07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Neuroinformatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:24 Feb 2016 14:13
Last Modified:12 Mar 2017 06:17
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0378-5955
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heares.2016.01.005
PubMed ID:26775182

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