The responses of models of "high-spontaneous" auditory-nerve fibers in a damaged cochlea to speech syllables in noise

J Acoust Soc Am. 1989 Dec;86(6):2192-205. doi: 10.1121/1.398480.


The responses of four high-spontaneous fibers from a damaged cat cochlea responding to naturally uttered consonant-vowel (CV) syllables [m], [p], and [t], each with [a], [i], and [u] in four different levels of noise were simulated using a two-stage computer model. At the lowest noise level [+30 dB signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio], the responses of the models of the three fibers from a heavily damaged portion of the cochlea [characteristic frequencies (CFs) from 1.6 to 2.14 kHz] showed quite different response patterns from those of fibers in normal cochleas: There was little response to the noise alone, the consonant portions of the syllables evoked small-amplitude wide-bandwidth complexes, and the vowel-segment response synchrony was often masked by low-frequency components, especially the first formant. At the next level of noise (S/N = 20 dB), spectral information regarding the murmur segments of the [m] syllables was essentially lost. At the highest noise levels used (S/N = +10 and 0 dB), the noise was almost totally disruptive of coding of the spectral peaks of the consonant portions of the stop CVs. Possible implications of the results with regard to the understanding of speech by hearing-impaired listeners are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Action Potentials
  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Cochlea / innervation
  • Cochlea / physiopathology*
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Noise*
  • Speech Perception / physiology*
  • Vestibulocochlear Nerve / physiopathology*