Temporal modulation transfer functions (TMTFs) were measured for six users of cochlear implants, using different carrier rates and levels. Unlike most previous studies investigating modulation detection, the experimental design limited potential effects of overall loudness cues. Psychometric functions (percent correct discrimination of modulated from unmodulated stimuli versus modulation depth) were obtained. For each modulation depth, each modulated stimulus was loudness balanced to the unmodulated reference stimulus, and level jitter was applied in the discrimination task. The loudness-balance data showed that the modulated stimuli were louder than the unmodulated reference stimuli with the same average current, thus confirming the need to limit loudness cues when measuring modulation detection. TMTFs measured in this way had a low-pass characteristic, with a cut-off frequency (at comfortably loud levels) similar to that for normal-hearing listeners. A reduction in level caused degradation in modulation detection efficiency and a lower-cut-off frequency (i.e. poorer temporal resolution). An increase in carrier rate also led to a degradation in modulation detection efficiency, but only at lower levels or higher modulation frequencies. When detection thresholds were expressed as a proportion of dynamic range, there was no effect of carrier rate for the lowest modulation frequency (50Hz) at either level. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.
Fraser, M., & McKay, C. M. (2012). Temporal modulation transfer functions in cochlear implantees using a method that limits overall loudness cues. Hearing Research, 283(1–2), 59–69. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heares.2011.11.009