In music, multiple pitches often occur simultaneously, an essential feature of harmony. In the present study, the authors assessed the ability of cochlear implant (CI) users to perceive polyphonic pitch. Acoustically presented stimuli consisted of one, two, or three superposed tones with different fundamental frequencies (f0). The normal hearing control group obtained significantly higher mean scores than the CI group. CI users performed near chance levels in recognizing two- and three-pitch stimuli, and demonstrated perceptual fusion of multiple pitches as single-pitch units. These results suggest that limitations in polyphonic pitch perception may significantly impair music perception in CI users.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics