For bimodal patients, with a hearing aid (HA) in one ear and a cochlear implant (CI) in the opposite ear, usually a default frequency-to-electrode map is used in the CI. This assumes that the human brain can adapt to interaural place-pitch mismatches. This “one-size-fits-all” method might be partly responsible for the large variability of individual bimodal benefit. Therefore, knowledge about the location of the electrode array is an important prerequisite for optimum fitting. Theoretically, the electrode location can be determined from CT-scans. However, these are often not available in audiological practice. Behavioral pitch matching between the two ears has also been suggested, but has been shown to be tedious and unreliable. Here, an alternative method using two-formant vowels was developed and tested with a vocoder system simulating different CI insertion depths. The hypothesis was that patients may more easily identify vowels than perform a classical pitch-matching task. A spectral shift is inferred by comparing vowel spaces, measured by presenting the first formant in the HA and the second either in the HA or the CI. Preliminary results suggest that pitch mismatches can be derived from such vowel spaces. In order to take auditory adaptation in individual patients into account, the method will be tested with CI patients with contralateral residual hearing.
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International Symposium on Auditory and Audiological Research, 2013