Despite the introduction of many new sound-coding strategies speech perception outcomes in cochlear implant listeners have leveled off. Computer models may help speed up the evaluation of new sound-coding strategies, but most existing models of auditory nerve responses to electrical stimulation include limited temporal detail, as the effects of longer stimulation, such as adaptation, are not well-studied. Measured neural responses to stimulation with both short (400 ms) and long (10 min) duration high-rate (5kpps) pulse trains were compared in terms of spike rate and vector strength (VS) with model outcomes obtained with different forms of adaptation. A previously published model combining biophysical and phenomenological approaches was adjusted with adaptation modeled as a single decaying exponent, multiple exponents and a power law. For long duration data, power law adaptation by far outperforms the single exponent model, especially when it is optimized per fiber. For short duration data, all tested models performed comparably well, with slightly better performance of the single exponent model for VS and of the power law model for the spike rates. The power law parameter sets obtained when fitted to the long duration data also yielded adequate predictions for short duration stimulation, and vice versa. The power law function can be approximated with multiple exponents, which is physiologically more viable. The number of required exponents depends on the duration of simulation; the 400 ms data was well-replicated by two exponents (23 and 212 ms), whereas the 10-minute data required at least seven exponents (ranging from 4 ms to 600 s). Adaptation of the auditory nerve to high-rate electrical stimulation can best be described by a power-law or a sum of exponents. This gives an adequate fit for both short and long duration stimuli, such as CI speech segments.

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Hearing Research

van Gendt, M. J., Siebrecht, M., Briaire, J. J., Bohte, S., & Frijns, J. H. M. (2020). Short and long-term adaptation in the auditory nerve stimulated with high-rate electrical pulse trains are better described by a power law. Hearing Research, 398. doi:10.1016/j.heares.2020.108090