The Effect of Spatially Separated Sound Sources on Speech Intelligibility A series of five experiments was conducted to investigate the effects of spatial separation of speakers on the intelligibility of spondaic and PB words in noise and the identification of synthetic sentences in noise and competing message. Conditions in which the spatial location of the speakers produced interaural time differences ... Research Article
Research Article  |   March 01, 1969
The Effect of Spatially Separated Sound Sources on Speech Intelligibility
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Donald D. Dirks
    University of California School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California
  • Richard H. Wilson
    University of California School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   March 01, 1969
The Effect of Spatially Separated Sound Sources on Speech Intelligibility
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 1969, Vol. 12, 5-38. doi:10.1044/jshr.1201.05
History: Received March 7, 1968
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, March 1969, Vol. 12, 5-38. doi:10.1044/jshr.1201.05
History: Received March 7, 1968

A series of five experiments was conducted to investigate the effects of spatial separation of speakers on the intelligibility of spondaic and PB words in noise and the identification of synthetic sentences in noise and competing message. Conditions in which the spatial location of the speakers produced interaural time differences ranked highest in intelligibility. The rank order of other conditions was dependent on the S/N ratio at the monaural near ear. Separations of only 10° between the speech and noise sources resulted in measurable changes in intelligibility. The binaural intelligibility scores were enhanced substantially over the monaural near ear results during conditions where an interaural time difference was present. This result was observed more effectively when spondaic words or sentences were used rather than PB words. The implications of this result were related to the interaural time difference and the frequency range of the critical information in the primary message. Although the initial experiments were facilitated by recording through an artificial head, almost identical results were obtained in the final experiment when subjects were tested in the sound field.

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