Recognition of Time-Compressed and Natural Speech With Selective Temporal Enhancements by Young and Elderly Listeners Purpose The goal of this experiment was to determine whether selective slowing of speech segments improves recognition performance by young and elderly listeners. The hypotheses were (a) the benefits of time expansion occur for rapid speech but not for natural-rate speech, (b) selective time expansion of consonants produces greater score ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 2007
Recognition of Time-Compressed and Natural Speech With Selective Temporal Enhancements by Young and Elderly Listeners
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sandra Gordon-Salant
    University of Maryland, College Park
  • Peter J. Fitzgibbons
    Gallaudet University, Washington, DC
  • Sarah A. Friedman
    University of Maryland, College Park
  • Contact author: Sandra Gordon-Salant, Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, 100 LeFrak Hall, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742. E-mail: sgordon@hesp.umd.edu.
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing Disorders / Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2007
Recognition of Time-Compressed and Natural Speech With Selective Temporal Enhancements by Young and Elderly Listeners
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2007, Vol. 50, 1181-1193. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2007/082)
History: Received June 7, 2006 , Revised November 3, 2006 , Accepted February 3, 2007
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2007, Vol. 50, 1181-1193. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2007/082)
History: Received June 7, 2006; Revised November 3, 2006; Accepted February 3, 2007
Web of Science® Times Cited: 32

Purpose The goal of this experiment was to determine whether selective slowing of speech segments improves recognition performance by young and elderly listeners. The hypotheses were (a) the benefits of time expansion occur for rapid speech but not for natural-rate speech, (b) selective time expansion of consonants produces greater score increments than other forms of selective time expansion, and (c) older listeners benefit from time expansion of speech

Method Participants (n = 10–16 per group) were younger and older adults with normal hearing or with hearing loss. A repeated-measures design was used to assess recognition of sentence-length stimuli presented in 2 baseline speech rates: natural and 50% time compression. Selective time expansion of consonants, vowels, or pauses was applied to the natural-rate and time-compressed sentence-length stimuli.

Results Listeners showed excellent performance for natural-rate speech, regardless of time-expansion method. Recognition was significantly poorer for the time-compressed sentences, but performance by elderly listeners and listeners with hearing loss improved with selective time expansion, particularly when applied to consonant segments.

Conclusion The findings support the hypothesis that older listeners and listeners with hearing impairment benefit from selective time expansion of consonants applied to rapid speech, without a corresponding decrement when applied to normal-rate speech.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by Grant R37AG09191 from the National Institute on Aging. We are grateful to Jessica Barrett for her assistance in data collection and analysis.
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