Talker discrimination by prelingually deaf children with cochlear implants: Preliminary results

Miranda Cleary, David B. Pisoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Scopus citations


Forty-four school-age children who had used a multichannel cochlear implant (CI) for at least 4 years were tested to assess their ability to discriminate differences between recorded pairs of female voices uttering sentences. Children were asked to respond "same voice" or "different voice" on each trial. Two conditions were examined. In one condition, the linguistic content of the sentence was always held constant and only the talker's voice varied from trial to trial. In another condition, the linguistic content of the utterance also varied so that to correctly respond "same voice," the child needed to recognize that two different sentences were spoken by the same talker. Data from normal-hearing children were used to establish that these tasks were well within the capabilities of children without hearing impairment. For the children with CIs, in the "fixed sentence condition" the mean proportion correct was 68%, which, although significantly different from the 50% score expected by chance, suggests that the children with CIs found this discrimination task rather difficult. In the "varied sentence condition," however, the mean proportion correct was only 57%, indicating that the children were essentially unable to recognize an unfamiliar talker's voice when the linguistic content of the paired sentences differed. Correlations with other speech and language outcome measures are also reported.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-118
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number5 II
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002



  • Child
  • Cochlear implant
  • Indexical property
  • Speech perception
  • Talker discrimination
  • Voice discrimination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology

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