This study investigated which acoustic cues within the speech signal are responsible for bimodal speech perception benefit. Seven cochlear implant (CI) users with usable residual hearing at low frequencies in the non-implanted ear participated. Sentence tests were performed in near-quiet (some noise on the CI side to reduce scores from ceiling) and in a modulated noise background, with the implant alone and with the addition, in the hearing ear, of one of four types of acoustic signals derived from the same sentences: (1) a complex tone modulated by the fundamental frequency (F0) and amplitude envelope contours; (2) a pure tone modulated by the F0 and amplitude contours; (3) a noise-vocoded signal; (4) unprocessed speech. The modulated tones provided F0 information without spectral shape information, whilst the vocoded signal presented spectral shape information without F0 information. For the group as a whole, only the unprocessed speech condition provided significant benefit over implant-alone scores, in both near-quiet and noise. This suggests that, on average, F0 or spectral cues in isolation provided limited benefit for these subjects in the tested listening conditions, and that the significant benefit observed in the full-signal condition was derived from implantees' use of a combination of these cues.
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