For normal-hearing (NH) listeners, masker energy outside the spectral region of a target signal can improve target detection and identification, a phenomenon referred to as comodulation masking release (CMR). This study examined whether, for cochlear implant (CI) listeners and for NH listeners presented with a noise vocoded CI simulation, speech identification in modulated noise is improved by a co-modulated flanking band. In Experiment 1, NH listeners identified noise-vocoded speech in a background of on-target noise with or without a flanking narrow band of noise outside the spectral region of the target. The on-target noise and flanker were either 16-Hz square-wave modulated with the same phase or were unmodulated; the speech was taken from a closed-set corpus. Performance was better in modulated than in unmodulated noise, and this difference was slightly greater when the comodulated flanker was present, consistent with a small CMR of about 1.7 dB for noise-vocoded speech. Experiment 2, which tested CI listeners using the same speech materials, found no advantage for modulated versus unmodulated maskers and no CMR. Thus although NH listeners can benefit from CMR even for speech signals with reduced spectro-temporal detail, no CMR was observed for CI users.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics