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Open Access The Factor Analysis of Speech: Limitations and Opportunities for Cochlear Implants

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Current spread is known to limit the number of independent spectral channels in cochlear implants. The outcome of an experiment employing cochlear implant simulations indicated that current spread is not the only limitation on the benefit of increasing the number of electrodes: for both sentences and digit triplets, improvements in speech reception threshold slowed markedly once more than seven electrodes/processing channels were simulated. Factor analysis of speech envelopes from the output of an auditory filterbank confirmed that speech contains 6-8 independent sources of information, causing finer spectral filtering to produce redundant information in adjacent channels. It is possible that factor analysis can be used to refine the frequency maps used in cochlear implants in order to minimise the effects of current spread.

© 2018 The Author(s). Published by S. Hirzel Verlag · EAA. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license (

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2018

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  • Acta Acustica united with Acustica, published together with the European Acoustics Association (EAA), is an international, peer-reviewed journal on acoustics. It publishes original articles on all subjects in the field of acoustics, such as general linear acoustics, nonlinear acoustics, macrosonics, flow acoustics, atmospheric sound, underwater sound, ultrasonics, physical acoustics, structural acoustics, noise control, active control, environmental noise, building acoustics, room acoustics, acoustic materials, acoustic signal processing, computational and numerical acoustics, hearing, audiology and psychoacoustics, speech, musical acoustics, electroacoustics, auditory quality of systems. It reports on original scientific research in acoustics and on engineering applications. The journal considers scientific papers, technical and applied papers, book reviews, short communications, doctoral thesis abstracts, etc. In irregular intervals also special issues and review articles are published.
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