Clinical assessment of music perception in cochlear implant listeners

Grace L. Nimmons, Robert S. Kang, Ward R. Drennan, Jeff Longnion, Chad Ruffin, Tina Worman, Bevan Yueh, Jay T. Rubinstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Cochlear implants (CI) have provided tremendous benefit for speech recognition in quiet for patients with severe and profound hearing impairment, but implant users still have great difficulty perceiving music. The purpose of this study was to develop a test to quantify music perception by CI listeners in a clinically practical manner that could be standardized for administration at any implant center. STUDY DESIGN: Prospective convenience sample. SETTING: Hearing research center at an academic hospital. PATIENTS: Eight CI listeners, including 5 men and 3 women with implant experience ranging from 0.5 to 6 years, participated in this study. They represented a variety of implant devices and strategies. INTERVENTION: Administration of the Clinical Assessment of Music Perception test in a standardized sound field. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Music perception was assessed using a computerized test comprising pitch direction discrimination, melody identification, and timbre identification. The pitch subtest used a 2-alternative forced-choice adaptive procedure to determine a threshold interval for discrimination of complex pitch direction change. The melody and timbre subtests assessed recognition of 12 isochronous melodies and 8 musical instruments, respectively. RESULTS: Testing demonstrated a broad range of perceptual accuracy on all 3 subtests. Test duration averaged less than 45 minutes. CONCLUSION: Clinical Assessment of Music Perception is an efficient computerized test that may be used to measure 3 different aspects of music perception in CI users in a standardized and clinically practical manner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-155
Number of pages7
JournalOtology and Neurotology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2008


  • Cochlear implants
  • Music perception
  • Music test

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