The effect of cochlear implantation on music perception by adults with usable pre-operative acoustic hearing
This study investigated the change in music perception of adults undergoing cochlear implantation. Nine adults scheduled for a cochlear implant (CI) were assessed on a music test battery both prior to implantation (whilst using hearing aids; HAs), and three months after activation of their CIs. The results were compared with data from a group of longer-term CI users and a group of HA-only users. The tests comprised assessments of rhythm, pitch, instrument, and melody perception. Pre-to-post surgery comparisons showed no significant difference in the rhythm, melody, and instrument identification scores. Subjects' scores were significantly lower post-implant for ranking pitch intervals of one octave and a quarter octave (p=0.007, and p<0.001, respectively), and were only at chance levels for the smaller interval. However, although pitch perception was generally poorer with a CI than with a HA, it is likely that the use of both devices simultaneously could have provided higher scores for these subjects. Analysis of the other tests' results provided insights into factors affecting music perception for adults with severe to profound hearing impairment.