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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2012, Article ID 404590, 7 pages
Clinical Study

Influence of Implantable Hearing Aids and Neuroprosthesison Music Perception

Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University Hospital Halle (Saale), 06120 Halle, Germany

Received 16 January 2012; Accepted 9 February 2012

Academic Editors: J. Gavilán and M. Schloss

Copyright © 2012 Torsten Rahne et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The identification and discrimination of timbre are essential features of music perception. One dominating parameter within the multidimensional timbre space is the spectral shape of complex sounds. As hearing loss interferes with the perception and enjoyment of music, we approach the individual timbre discrimination skills in individuals with severe to profound hearing loss using a cochlear implant (CI) and normal hearing individuals using a bone-anchored hearing aid (Baha). With a recent developed behavioral test relying on synthetically sounds forming a spectral continuum, the timbre difference was changed adaptively to measure the individual just noticeable difference (JND) in a forced-choice paradigm. To explore the differences in timbre perception abilities caused by the hearing mode, the sound stimuli were varied in their fundamental frequency, thus generating different spectra which are not completely covered by a CI or Baha system. The resulting JNDs demonstrate differences in timbre perception between normal hearing individuals, Baha users, and CI users. Beside the physiological reasons, also technical limitations appear as the main contributing factors.