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The University of Southampton
The Music Focus Group

Evaluation of music perception tests

Evaluation and review of music perception tests for cochlear implant users

Pitch is not well represented through the cochlear implant and this has implications for the recognition and appraisal of melody and timbre which can lead to a reduction in listening to music and low enjoyment.

A number of pitch perception tests have been adapted or designed for use with CI users. Our previous work has evaluated pitch tests from the Macarena, the Montreal Battery for the Evaluation of Amusia, the University of Washington Clinical Assessment of Music Perception, the South of England Cochlear Implant Centre Music Test Battery, the MedEl Musical Sounds in Cochlear Implants Test, the Melodic Contour Identification Test and the Primary Measures of Music Audiation.

This evaluative review revealed that two of these tests did not encompass the typical performance range of CI users, two provided suboptimal information regarding listener performance, two correlated with each other but provided significantly different scores, and one had very low reliability on retest. The study also questioned the underlying assumptions regarding pitch perception in CI users and raised issues concerning the confidence that can be associated with each test

The aim of the current project is to address these design issues in the development of a new test. A pitch contour test that presents triplets of notes has been developed. It measures pitch discrimination and pitch ranking ability simultaneously and uses both pure and complex tones.

The test is in the initial stages of validation, and both normal hearing listeners and CI users will be used. This will involve assessing that the interval choice is suitable, establishing reliability on retest and comparing scores with similar tests of pitch perception as determined by the previous work. The project also aims to investigate whether pure or complex tones lead to better performance, and whether the underlying psychometric function in CI users is monotonic.

Contact: Anne Wheatley

Email: amhw106 (@)


listening tests
Listening Tests

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