Audiovisual speech perception in cochlear implant recipients – examinations based on virtual reality
* Presenting author
Cochlear implants (CI) aim at (partially) restoring listening in patients with profound hearing loss by electrical stimulation of the auditory nerve. CI recipients frequently have particularly good skills in using visual speech. This may be due to the need to overcome the relatively limited cues provided by the electrical stimulation thereby supporting the outcome of the CI. Hence, audiovisual speech plays an especially crucial role in CI users. Moreover, assessing audiovisual perception has high ecological validity since daily-life communication typically contains both, auditory and visual speech cues. However, audiovisual speech is often not systematically considered with CI rehabilitation, partly due to the lack of appropriate speech material. One promising approach is the use of virtual reality (VR) to provide visual speech cues. So called “talking heads” allow visualization of arbitrary speech material and have the advantage of combining realistic settings with precise control of stimulus presentation. The present talk gives insight into VR-based audiovisual speech presentation and shows several research areas addressing speech perception in cochlear implant listeners.