The Effects of Intrinsic Acoustic Cues on Categorical Perception in Children with Cochlear Implants

  •  Kejuan Cheng    
  •  Xiaoxiang Chen    


Many previous studies researched the influence of external cues on speech perception, yet little is known pertaining to the role of intrinsic cues in categorical perception of Mandarin vowels and tones by children with cochlear implants (CI). This study investigated the effects of intrinsic acoustic cues on categorical perception in children with CIs, compared to normal-hearing (NH) children. Categorical perception experiment paradigm was applied to evaluate their identification and discrimination abilities in perceiving /i/-/u/ with static intrinsic formants and Tone 1 (T1)-Tone 2 (T2) with dynamic intrinsic fundamental frequency (F0) contours. Results for the NH group showed that vowel continuum of /i/-/u/ was less categorically perceived than T1-T2 continuum with significantly wider boundary width and less alignment between the discrimination peak and the boundary position. However, a different categorical perception pattern was depicted for the CI group. Specifically, the CI group exhibited less categoricalness in both /i/-/u/ and T1-T2. It suggested that the effects of intrinsic acoustic cues on categorical perception was proved for the normal-hearing children, while not for the hearing-impaired children with cochlear implants. In conclusion, acoustically dynamic cues can facilitate categorical perception of speech in NH children, whereas this effect will be inhibited by difficulties in processing spectral F0 information as in the CI users.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1923-869X
  • ISSN(Online): 1923-8703
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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