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The present study evaluated the slopes of threshold-versus-pulse-rate functions (multipulse integration, MPI) in humans with cochlear implants in relation to recovery from 300-ms forward maskers. MPI has been correlated with spiral ganglion cell density in animals. The present study showed that steeper MPI functions were correlated with faster recovery from forward masking. The findings suggested that the variations in the MPI slopes are explained not only by the quantity of neurons contributing to the integration process but also by the neurons' temporal response characteristics and possibly central inhibition.


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