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People with hearing prostheses use timbre of voice to recognise emotions

Cochlear implants can help people with hearing loss to perceive acoustic stimuli. Unlike hearing aids, which usually only amplify the volume of sounds, the electronic prostheses directly stimulate the auditory nerve. But can these implants also register “nuances” in communication? After all, when we perceive spoken content, for example when talking to someone, it is often not just a question of what is said, but how it is said. Scientists at Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany have investigated this question and, as part of an extensive study, they have now established that the perception of vocal emotions is significantly reduced in people with cochlear implants. They report on the results of their research in the current issue of the journal Ear and Hearing. Read More

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