Speech Perception in Individuals With Auditory Neuropathy Purpose: Speech perception in participants with auditory neuropathy (AN) was systematically studied to answer the following 2 questions: Does noise present a particular problem for people with AN? Can clear speech and cochlear implants alleviate this problem?Method: The researchers evaluated the advantage in intelligibility of clear speech over ... Article/Report
Article/Report  |   April 2006
Speech Perception in Individuals With Auditory Neuropathy
 
Author Notes
  • Contact author: Fan-Gang Zeng, 364 Med Surge II, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697. Email: fzeng@uci.edu
  • © 2006 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Hearing
Article/Report   |   April 2006
Speech Perception in Individuals With Auditory Neuropathy
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2006, Vol. 49, 367-380. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/029)
History: Received December 17, 2004 , Accepted September 20, 2005
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2006, Vol. 49, 367-380. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/029)
History: Received December 17, 2004; Accepted September 20, 2005
Web of Science® Times Cited: 51

Purpose: Speech perception in participants with auditory neuropathy (AN) was systematically studied to answer the following 2 questions: Does noise present a particular problem for people with AN? Can clear speech and cochlear implants alleviate this problem?

Method: The researchers evaluated the advantage in intelligibility of clear speech over conversational speech in 13 participants with AN. Of these participants, 7 had received a cochlear implant. Eight sentence-recognition experiments were conducted to examine the clear speech advantage in 2 listening conditions (quiet and noise) using 4 stimulation modes (monaural acoustic, diotic acoustic, monaural electric, and binaurally combined acoustic and electric stimulation).

Results: Participants with AN performed more poorly in speech recognition in noise than did the normal-hearing, cochlear-impaired, and cochlear implant controls. A significant clear speech advantage was observed, ranging from 9 to 23 percentage points in intelligibility for all listening conditions and stimulation modes. Electric stimulation via a cochlear implant produced significantly higher intelligibility than acoustic stimulation in both quiet and in noise. Binaural hearing with either diotic acoustic stimulation or combined acoustic and electric stimulation produced significantly higher intelligibility than monaural stimulation in quiet but not in noise.

Conclusions: Participants with AN most likely derive the clear speech advantage from enhanced temporal properties in clear speech and improved neural synchrony with electric stimulation. Although the present result supports cochlear implantation as one treatment choice for people with AN, it suggests that the use of innovative hearing aids may be another viable option to improve speech perception in noise.

Acknowledgment
We thank the participants with AN for their time and dedication. We also thank Arnie Starr, Michael Dorman, Gary Rance, and Andrew Faulkner for helpful comments on the manuscript, Chuck Berlin and Jon Shallop for participant recruitment, Ann Bradlow for providing clear speech materials, and Abby Copeland, Ying-Yee Kong, and Henry Michalewski for technical support. This work was supported in part by National Institutes of Health Grants 2R01 DC002267 and 2RO1 DC002618.
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