Combining Temporal-Envelope Cues Across Channels: Effects of Age and Hearing Loss The goal of this study was to examine the ability to combine temporal-envelope information across frequency channels. Three areas were addressed: (a) the effects of hearing loss, (b) the effects of age and (c) whether such effects increase with the number of frequency channels. Twenty adults aged 23–80 years with ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2006
Combining Temporal-Envelope Cues Across Channels: Effects of Age and Hearing Loss
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Pamela E. Souza
    University of Washington, Seattle
  • Kumiko T. Boike
    University of Washington, Seattle
  • Contact author: Pamela Souza, Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of Washington, 1417 NE 42nd Street Seattle, WA 98105. Email: psouza@u.washington.edu
  • Kumiko T. Boike is now at the Department of Speech and Hearing Science, Arizona State University, Tempe.
    Kumiko T. Boike is now at the Department of Speech and Hearing Science, Arizona State University, Tempe.×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Disorders / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 2006
Combining Temporal-Envelope Cues Across Channels: Effects of Age and Hearing Loss
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2006, Vol. 49, 138-149. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/011)
History: Received November 16, 2004 , Accepted June 22, 2005
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2006, Vol. 49, 138-149. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/011)
History: Received November 16, 2004; Accepted June 22, 2005
Web of Science® Times Cited: 33

The goal of this study was to examine the ability to combine temporal-envelope information across frequency channels. Three areas were addressed: (a) the effects of hearing loss, (b) the effects of age and (c) whether such effects increase with the number of frequency channels. Twenty adults aged 23–80 years with hearing loss ranging from mild to severe and a control group of 6 adults with normal hearing participated. Stimuli were vowel–consonant–vowel syllables. Consonant identification was measured for 5 conditions: (a) 1-channel temporal-envelope information (minimal spectral cues), (b) 2-channel, (c) 4-channel, (d) 8-channel, and (e) an unprocessed (maximal spectral cues) speech condition. Performance of listeners with normal hearing and listeners with hearing loss was similar in the 1-channel condition. Performance increased with the number of frequency channels in both groups; however, increasing the number of channels led to smaller improvements in consonant identification in listeners with hearing loss. Older listeners performed more poorly than younger listeners but did not have more difficulty combining temporal cues across channels than in a simple, 1-channel temporal task. Age was a significant predictor of nonsense syllable identification, whereas amount of hearing loss was not. The results support an age-related deficit in use of temporal-envelope information with age, regardless of the number of channels.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (Grants AG020360 and DC006014). We are grateful to Chris Turner for helpful comments on the study design and to Marc Caldwell and Kerry Witherell for their assistance with data collection and analysis.
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