In normal hearing subjects, detection of near-threshold tones in noise is influenced by signal certainty. Thus, tones that are presented more frequently than others, and/or are preceded by a clearly audible cue tone of the same frequency (target tones) are detected better than other tones (probe tones). This auditory attentional filter was examined in six cochlear implant (CI) recipients, using acoustic stimuli and direct programmed electrode stimulation. Three of the subjects showed no evidence of an attentional filter. Three subjects showed a relatively higher detection rate of the target frequency or electrode stimulated during the attentional task, and in two of these subjects the target benefit was influenced by stimulus certainty. The absence of an attentional filter in some CI recipients is consistent with suggestions that the attentional filter may be generated by efferent modulation of outer hair cells, which would presumably be absent in CI recipients, however, the presence of some frequency-selective attentional effects and a near-normal attentional filter in two CI subjects imply that central processes can modulate signal detection in CI recipients according to stimulus certainty. Such central processes might serve as a neural substrate to improve signal detection in CI recipients.