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A Journal on Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery,
Plastic Reconstructive Surgery, Otoneurosurgery

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Otorinolaringologia 2008 December;58(4):169-90


language: English

The effect of cochlear implantation on music perception

Looi V.

Department of Communication Disorders The University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand


Developments in the field of cochlear implants (CIs) have expanded at an expeditious rate, particularly in the last two decades. As many CI recipients can now achieve highly satisfactory speech recognition performance, they are looking toward improved perception of other aural stimuli, hence the expansion of research interests into non-speech stimuli. This article reviews some of the more-recent research related to music perception with CIs, and how cochlear implantation may impact on music perception in adults. This issue is not only of interest to potential and current implant recipients and their families, but would also be important for clinicians to address in counselling. Overall, the current state of findings suggests that adult CI users are significantly poorer than normally hearing listeners at frequency-based music tests, such as tasks involving pitch perception, instrument identification, or melody recognition. There is also research indicating that adult CI users may also score lower on some pitch-based tests than hearing aid users with similar levels of hearing loss. Collectively, this suggests that cochlear implantation may result in changes to a recipient’s music perception abilities. However, more positively, there is also evidence that: 1) music training may help some CI users to improve their music perception and appreciation, and 2) that the use of a simultaneous hearing aid in conjunction with the CI may benefit music listening for those with aidable levels of residual acoustic hearing.

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