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1.  Audiotactile interaction can change over time in cochlear implant users 
Recent results suggest that audiotactile interactions are disturbed in cochlear implant (CI) users. However, further exploration regarding the factors responsible for such abnormal sensory processing is still required. Considering the temporal nature of a previously used multisensory task, it remains unclear whether any aberrant results were caused by the specificity of the interaction studied or rather if it reflects an overall abnormal interaction. Moreover, although duration of experience with a CI has often been linked with the recovery of auditory functions, its impact on multisensory performance remains uncertain. In the present study, we used the parchment-skin illusion, a robust illustration of sound-biased perception of touch based on changes in auditory frequencies, to investigate the specificities of audiotactile interactions in CI users. Whereas individuals with relatively little experience with the CI performed similarly to the control group, experienced CI users showed a significantly greater illusory percept. The overall results suggest that despite being able to ignore auditory distractors in a temporal audiotactile task, CI users develop to become greatly influenced by auditory input in a spectral audiotactile task. When considered with the existing body of research, these results confirm that normal sensory interaction processing can be compromised in CI users.
PMCID: PMC4033126  PMID: 24904359
audiotactile interaction; multisensory interactions; cochlear implant; parchment-skin illusion; sensory deprivation; cross-modal plasticity; deafness; hearing loss
2.  Audiovisual Segregation in Cochlear Implant Users 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(3):e33113.
It has traditionally been assumed that cochlear implant users de facto perform atypically in audiovisual tasks. However, a recent study that combined an auditory task with visual distractors suggests that only those cochlear implant users that are not proficient at recognizing speech sounds might show abnormal audiovisual interactions. The present study aims at reinforcing this notion by investigating the audiovisual segregation abilities of cochlear implant users in a visual task with auditory distractors. Speechreading was assessed in two groups of cochlear implant users (proficient and non-proficient at sound recognition), as well as in normal controls. A visual speech recognition task (i.e. speechreading) was administered either in silence or in combination with three types of auditory distractors: i) noise ii) reverse speech sound and iii) non-altered speech sound. Cochlear implant users proficient at speech recognition performed like normal controls in all conditions, whereas non-proficient users showed significantly different audiovisual segregation patterns in both speech conditions. These results confirm that normal-like audiovisual segregation is possible in highly skilled cochlear implant users and, consequently, that proficient and non-proficient CI users cannot be lumped into a single group. This important feature must be taken into account in further studies of audiovisual interactions in cochlear implant users.
PMCID: PMC3299746  PMID: 22427963

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