Auditory development of modulation perception in cochlear-implant children – Sensory and cognitive predictors of the success of pediatric cochlear implantation. Industry — Advanced Bionics


The general aims of the present research program are three-fold:
(1) First, this program aims to assess whether and to which extent the capacity of CI children to perceive simple AM cues (e.g., sinusoidal AM) develops over time following implantation and whether it is influenced by altered sensory experience.
(2) The present program also aims to assess separately the maturation of peripheral and central auditory mechanisms constraining AM perception (i.e., the limited channel independence and the resulting poorer-than-normal frequency resolution, vs central processing responsible for the extraction of modulation information).
(3) Finally, this program also aims at assessing separately the maturation of sensory and/or cognitive processes (i.e., changes in processing efficiency - the central ability to make optimal use of the available sensory information that is limited by attention, memory


The number of pediatric cochlear-implant recipients has increased substantially over the past years, and it is now crucial to clarify the underlying causes of the variable outcomes in this population. However, information is still lacking about the auditory development of pediatric cochlear-implant recipients, and there is a paucity of targeted experimental designs and tools to investigate this development. The present research program focuses on the in-depth characterization of the auditory development of temporal-modulation perception for prelingually deafened children wearing a cochlear implant. This will be achieved by conducting several behavioral tasks assessing auditory sensitivity to amplitude-modulation (AM) cues and speech intelligibility in noise for prelingually deafened children aged between 5 and 12 years and showing various amounts of cochlear-implant experience. These measures will be complemented by electrophysiological (ECAP) measures assessing neural spread of excitation and behavioral measures of spectral resolution. These psychophysical and electrophysiological measures will be used to evaluate the maturation of the sensory and cognitive mechanisms involved in modulation perception, the impact of altered sensory experience, and the relationship between AM processing, speech perception in noise and linguistic development. This project will ultimately lead to the development of a battery of clinical tests that may be used to monitor the auditory development of cochlear-implant recipients, and predict the success of pediatric cochlear implantation.