The role of temporal cues in sequential stream segregation was investigated in cochlear implant (CI) listeners using a delay detection task composed of a sequence of bursts of pulses (B) on a single electrode interleaved with a second sequence (A) presented on the same electrode with a different pulse rate. In half of the trials, a delay was added to the last burst of the otherwise regular B sequence and the listeners were asked to detect this delay. As a jitter was added to the period between consecutive A bursts, time judgments between the A and B sequences provided an unreliable cue to perform the task. Thus, the segregation of the A and B sequences should improve performance. The pulse rate difference and the duration of the sequences were varied between trials. The performance in the detection task improved by increasing both the pulse rate differences and the sequence duration. This suggests that CI listeners can use pulse rate differences to segregate sequential sounds and that a segregated percept builds up over time. In addition, the contribution of place versus temporal cues for voluntary stream segregation was assessed by combining the results from this study with those from our previous study, where the same paradigm was used to determine the role of place cues on stream segregation. Pitch height differences between the A and the B sounds accounted for the results from both studies, suggesting that stream segregation is related to the salience of the perceptual difference between the sounds.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by the Oticon Centre of Excellence for Hearing and Speech Sciences (CHeSS) and the Carlsberg Foundation.
- auditory perception
- auditory streaming
- cochlear implant