Speech Perception in MRI Scanner Noise by Persons With Aphasia PurposeTo examine reductions in performance on auditory tasks by aphasic and neurologically intact individuals as a result of concomitant magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner noise.MethodFour tasks together forming a continuum of linguistic complexity were developed. They included complex-tone pitch discrimination, same–different discrimination of minimal pair syllables, lexical decision, and sentence ... Article/Report
Article/Report  |   April 2007
Speech Perception in MRI Scanner Noise by Persons With Aphasia
 
Author Notes
  • Contact author: Eric W. Healy, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208. E-mail: ewh@sc.edu.
  • © 2007 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Normal Language Processing / Language Disorders / Aphasia / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing
Article/Report   |   April 2007
Speech Perception in MRI Scanner Noise by Persons With Aphasia
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2007, Vol. 50, 323-334. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2007/023)
History: Received April 28, 2006 , Accepted August 26, 2006
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2007, Vol. 50, 323-334. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2007/023)
History: Received April 28, 2006; Accepted August 26, 2006
Web of Science® Times Cited: 4
Acknowledgments
This work was supported in part by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grants DC05795 and DC05915. The valuable assistance of Julia Lumb and Holly Smithson is gratefully acknowledged, as are comments on a version of the article from Barbara Cone-Wesson, Richard Wilson, Anthony Salvatore, and an anonymous reviewer.

PurposeTo examine reductions in performance on auditory tasks by aphasic and neurologically intact individuals as a result of concomitant magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner noise.

MethodFour tasks together forming a continuum of linguistic complexity were developed. They included complex-tone pitch discrimination, same–different discrimination of minimal pair syllables, lexical decision, and sentence plausibility. Each task was performed by persons with aphasia (PWA) and by controls. The stimuli were presented in silence and also in the noise recorded from within the bore of a 3 Tesla MRI scanner at 3 signal-to-noise (S/N) ratios.

ResultsAcross the 4 tasks, the PWA scored lower than the controls, and performance fell as a function of decreased S/N. However, the rate at which performance fell was not different across the 2 listener groups in any task.

ConclusionsDepending on the relative levels of the signals and noise, the intense noise accompanying MRI scanning has the potential to severely disrupt performance. However, PWA are no more susceptible to the disruptive influence of this noise than are unimpaired individuals usually employed as controls. Thus, functional MRI data from aphasic and control individuals may be interpreted without complications associated with large interactions between scanner noise and performance reduction.

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