Assessing the Electrode-Neuron Interface with the Electrically Evoked Compound Action Potential, Electrode Position, and Behavioral Thresholds

Lindsay DeVries, Rachel Scheperle, Julie Arenberg Bierer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

Variability in speech perception scores among cochlear implant listeners may largely reflect the variable efficacy of implant electrodes to convey stimulus information to the auditory nerve. In the present study, three metrics were applied to assess the quality of the electrode-neuron interface of individual cochlear implant channels: the electrically evoked compound action potential (ECAP), the estimation of electrode position using computerized tomography (CT), and behavioral thresholds using focused stimulation. The primary motivation of this approach is to evaluate the ECAP as a site-specific measure of the electrode-neuron interface in the context of two peripheral factors that likely contribute to degraded perception: large electrode-to-modiolus distance and reduced neural density. Ten unilaterally implanted adults with Advanced Bionics HiRes90k devices participated. ECAPs were elicited with monopolar stimulation within a forward-masking paradigm to construct channel interaction functions (CIF), behavioral thresholds were obtained with quadrupolar (sQP) stimulation, and data from imaging provided estimates of electrode-to-modiolus distance and scalar location (scala tympani (ST), intermediate, or scala vestibuli (SV)) for each electrode. The width of the ECAP CIF was positively correlated with electrode-to-modiolus distance; both of these measures were also influenced by scalar position. The ECAP peak amplitude was negatively correlated with behavioral thresholds. Moreover, subjects with low behavioral thresholds and large ECAP amplitudes, averaged across electrodes, tended to have higher speech perception scores. These results suggest a potential clinical role for the ECAP in the objective assessment of individual cochlear implant channels, with the potential to improve speech perception outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-252
Number of pages16
JournalJARO - Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology
Volume17
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2016

Keywords

  • cochlear implants
  • electrically evoked compound action potential
  • electrode configuration
  • imaging
  • psychophysics

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