Music perception in adult cochlear implant recipients

Acta Otolaryngol. 2003 Sep;123(7):826-35. doi: 10.1080/00016480310000386.


Objective: To evaluate musical perception in adult cochlear implant (CI) recipients, i.e. perceptual accuracy for pitch, timbre, rhythmic patterns and song identification.

Material and methods: Twenty-nine adult patients were included in this transverse single-center study. Evaluative measures included tests assessing ability to discriminate pitch, rhythm and timbre and to identify nursery songs with and without verbal cues. Performance scores were correlated with duration of deafness, duration of implantation, speech discrimination and musical perception skills.

Results: A total of 38% of patients reported that they did not enjoy listening to music with their device and 86% presented lower scores of listening habits after implantation. We found positive correlations between musical background and pitch identification and identification of nursery songs played by piano. We also found positive correlations between speech discrimination and rhythm, timbre and identification of nursery songs with verbal cues.

Conclusion: Trends in the patterns of correlation between speech and music perception suggest that music patterns are differentially accessible to CI users. New processing strategies may improve this.

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Auditory Perception*
  • Cochlear Implants*
  • Female
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Music*
  • Pitch Discrimination
  • Pitch Perception*
  • Speech Perception