Article/Report  |   June 2008
Effects of Long-Term Training on Aided Speech-Recognition Performance in Noise in Older Adults
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Matthew H. Burk
    Indiana University Bloomington
  • Larry E. Humes
    Indiana University Bloomington
  • Contact author: Matthew H. Burk, who is now at Starkey Laboratories, 6600 Washington Avenue South, Eden Prairie, MN 55344. E-mail: matt_burk@starkey.com.
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Disorders / Audiologic / Aural Rehabilitation / Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Hearing
Article/Report   |   June 2008
Effects of Long-Term Training on Aided Speech-Recognition Performance in Noise in Older Adults
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2008, Vol. 51, 759-771. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/054)
History: Received February 13, 2007 , Accepted October 10, 2007
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2008, Vol. 51, 759-771. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/054)
History: Received February 13, 2007; Accepted October 10, 2007
Web of Science® Times Cited: 19

Purpose: This study examined how repeated presentations of words in noise affected understanding of both trained and untrained words in noise (in isolation and in sentences).

Method: Eight older listeners with hearing impairment completed a word-based auditory training protocol lasting approximately 12 weeks. Training materials were presented in a closed-set condition with both orthographic and auditory feedback on a trial-to-trial basis. Performance on both trained and untrained lexically easy and hard words, as well as generalization to sentences, was measured. Listeners then returned for an additional 14 weeks to monitor retention of the trained materials.

Results: Training listeners on 1 set of words improved both their open- and closed-set recognition of the trained materials but did not improve performance on another set of untrained words. When training switched to the other set, performance for the new set of words improved significantly, whereas significant improvements on the previously trained words were maintained. Training generalized to unfamiliar talkers but did not generalize to untrained words or untrained keywords within running speech. Listeners were able to maintain improved performance over an extended period.

Conclusion: Older listeners were able to improve their word-recognition performance in noise on a set of 150 words with training.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by National Institutes of Health Grant R01 AG08293, awarded to the second author. The authors would like to thank Lauren Strauser and Charles Barlow for their assistance in data collection.
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