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September 2021

Factors affecting the recognition of reverberant speech by elderly listeners

Author(s): Humes, L. E.

Journal/Book: J Speech Lang Hear Res. 2000; 43: 10801 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852-3279, USA. Amer Speech-Language-Hearing Assoc. 414-431.

Abstract: Elderly listeners have been shown to experience greater difficulty with speech understanding than young listeners. The greater difficulty with speech understanding in elderly listeners has been attributed, primarily, to their typical high-frequency sensorineural hearing impairment. However, not all of the observed difficulty can be accounted for by hearing thresholds, leaving the likelihood of additional suprathreshold processing deficits. This study investigates speech understanding in older people and the relative contributions of hearing threshold and age to speech understanding. Considering that temporal processing is thought to affect speech understanding, the study also assesses the contributions of hearing loss and age to modulation-preservation performance. Finally, individual differences in hearing loss, age, and modulation-preservation performance are examined to see if they are closely associated with individual differences in speech-recognition ability, especially among older listeners. The results of the study suggest that hearing loss is closely tied to both speech-recognition performance and to measures of modulation preservation. Although some of the analyses at First indicated an effect of age, it was shown that this could be attributed in part to slight elevations in hearing threshold. Finally, it was shown that individual differences in hearing loss and measures of modulation preservation and processing efficiency in noise are associated with speech-recognition performance and that, given these measures, speech recognition can be predicted quite accurately.

Note: Article Halling DC, James Madison Univ, Dept Commun Sci & Disorders, Harrisonburg,VA 22807 USA

Keyword(s): auditory temporal processing; reverberant speech; age-related processes; aging; speech recognition; HEARING-IMPAIRED LISTENERS; MODULATION TRANSFER-FUNCTIONS; AUDITORY FILTER SHAPES; UNDERSTANDING DEFICITS; COGNITIVE-FACTORS; DURATION DISCRIMINATION; CONSONANT RECOGNITION; TEMPORAL RESOLUTION; SIGNAL FREQUENCY; ROOM ACOUSTICS


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