What is it about?

Arrays of electrodes, placed inside the inner ear (a cochlear implant), may be at different depths. This can cause frequency mismatch across the ears. We simulated this situation with sounds and presented them to people with typical hearing. Then we measured the effect of frequency mismatch on multiple two-eared (or binaural) hearing tasks. We found that mismatch caused people to hear sounds at the wrong place, they were worse at telling two locations apart, and a single sound was more often perceived as split and diffuse instead of singular and punctuate.

Featured Image

Why is it important?

The auditory system is normally extremely sensitive to small differences in sounds between the ears. However, interaural mismatch reduces this exquisite sensitivity - thereby reducing people's abilities to hearing sounds at different locations in space and understand speech in background noise.


Audiologists do not have a way to compensate for frequency mismatch. This research shows that correcting for mismatch could improve spatial hearing with cochlear implants.

Dr. Matthew J Goupell
University System of Maryland

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Effect of mismatched place-of-stimulation on the salience of binaural cues in conditions that simulate bilateral cochlear-implant listening, The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, April 2013, Acoustical Society of America (ASA), DOI: 10.1121/1.4792936.
You can read the full text:



The following have contributed to this page