Repository logo

From Microphone to Phoneme: An End-to-End Computational Neural Model for Predicting Speech Perception with Cochlear Implants

Accepted version

Change log


Brochier, Tim 
Roberts, iwan 


Abstract— Goal: Advances in computational models of biological systems and artificial neural networks enable rapid virtual prototyping of neuroprostheses, accelerating innovation in the field. Here, we present an end-to-end computational model for predicting speech perception with cochlear implants (CI), the most widely-used neuroprosthesis. Methods: The model integrates CI signal processing, a finite element model of the electrically-stimulated cochlea, and an auditory nerve model to predict neural responses to speech stimuli. An automatic speech recognition neural network is then used to extract phoneme-level speech perception from these neural response patterns. Results: Compared to human CI listener data, the model predicts similar patterns of speech perception and misperception, captures between-phoneme differences in perceptibility, and replicates effects of stimulation parameters and noise on speech recognition. Information transmission analysis at different stages along the CI processing chain indicates that the bottleneck of information flow occurs at the electrode-neural interface, corroborating studies in CI listeners. Conclusion: An end-to-end model of CI speech perception replicated phoneme-level CI speech perception patterns, and was used to quantify information degradation through the CI processing chain. Significance: This type of model shows great promise for developing and optimizing new and existing neuroprostheses. Index Terms— neural prostheses, cochlear implants, computational models, automatic speech recognition, signal processing, information transmission, neural networks



Humans, Cochlear Implants, Speech Perception, Cochlear Implantation, Noise, Cochlear Nerve

Journal Title

IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering

Conference Name

Journal ISSN


Volume Title


Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
H.B. Allen Charitable Trust (Unknown)
William Demant Foundation (Case no. 20-0390)
National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) (via Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust) (201608)
Wellcome Trust (204845/Z/16/Z)
Medical Research Council (MR/S002537/1)
MRC (MR/T03095X/1)
HB Allen Trust charity