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Otorinolaringologia 2018 September;68(3):73-7

DOI: 10.23736/S0392-6621.18.02167-7


lingua: Inglese

Role of musical training on pitch discrimination and verbal identification in adult cochlear implant users

Carla MONTUSCHI 1, 2, Andrea CANALE 1, 2, Giulia DALMASSO 1, 2 , Emanuela BARBERO 1, 2, Marta CERUTTI 1, 2, Carmine F. GERVASIO 1, 2, Roberto ALBERA 1, 2

1 Department of Surgical Sciences, University of Turin, Turin, Italy; 2 ENT Division, Department of Surgical Sciences, University of Turin, Turin, Italy


BACKGROUND: With this study we investigated the field of the cross-domain auditory plasticity, referring to changes in neural processing in one domain, driven by experience or training in another domain. In fact we evaluated the role of music rehabilitation in terms of improvement of pitch identification skills and speech perception, in cochlear implant users. We particularly stressed the cross-domain plasticity, as some patients had to train in a multisensorial way.
METHODS: We examined performances of 18 adults cochlear implant users both in pitch discrimination ability and in speech recognizing test, before and after a period of seven days of musical training. We divided the sample into three groups of training: group A had to actively play some exercises on a keyboard, group B had to listen to the exercises while watching the music sheet, and group C had to listen to the exercises. They all had to train twice a day for seven days. Patients were evaluated before training, after seven days of training and after one month without exercising.
RESULTS: As far as concerns the pitch discrimination test, we found a significant improvement of right answers in all the groups after the training; a significant improvement was maintained even one month after the training. In the same time the rate of wrong answers significantly decreased in Group A and in Group B. Concerning the speech recognizing test, we observed a significant increase in number of right answers in the multi-modal training groups, while it was not significant in the “listen” group.
CONCLUSIONS: Music training improves pitch discrimination ability and increases performances in word recognizing tests in cochlear implant users. These benefits are evident through one month without training, and reach their best when a multi-modal training is performed.

KEY WORDS: Pitche perception - Rehabilitation - Speech recognition software - Cochlear implant - Deafness

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