Attentional Modulation of Word Recognition by Children in a Dual-Task Paradigm Purpose This study investigated an account of limited short-term memory capacity for children’s speech perception in noise using a dual-task paradigm. Method Sixty-four normal-hearing children (7–14 years of age) participated in this study. Dual tasks were repeating monosyllabic words presented in noise at 8 dB signal-to-noise ratio and ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 2008
Attentional Modulation of Word Recognition by Children in a Dual-Task Paradigm
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sangsook Choi
    Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, NE
  • Andrew Lotto
    University of Arizona, Tucson
  • Dawna Lewis
    Boys Town National Research Hospital
  • Brenda Hoover
    Boys Town National Research Hospital
  • Patricia Stelmachowicz
    Boys Town National Research Hospital
  • Contact author: Sangsook Choi, who is now at the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, Purdue University, 500 Oval Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907. E-mail: choi111@purdue.edu.
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 2008
Attentional Modulation of Word Recognition by Children in a Dual-Task Paradigm
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2008, Vol. 51, 1042-1054. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/076)
History: Received December 28, 2006 , Accepted December 20, 2007
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2008, Vol. 51, 1042-1054. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/076)
History: Received December 28, 2006; Accepted December 20, 2007
Web of Science® Times Cited: 22

Purpose This study investigated an account of limited short-term memory capacity for children’s speech perception in noise using a dual-task paradigm.

Method Sixty-four normal-hearing children (7–14 years of age) participated in this study. Dual tasks were repeating monosyllabic words presented in noise at 8 dB signal-to-noise ratio and rehearsing sets of 3 or 5 digits for subsequent serial recall. Half of the children were told to allocate their primary attention to word repetition and the other half to remembering digits. Dual-task performance was compared to single-task performance. Limitations in short-term memory demands required for the primary task were measured by dual-task decrements in nonprimary tasks.

Results Results revealed that (a) regardless of task priority, no dual-task decrements were found for word recognition, but significant dual-task decrements were found for digit recall; (b) most children did not show the ability to allocate attention preferentially to primary tasks; and (c) younger children (7- to 10-year-olds) demonstrated improved word recognition in the dual-task conditions relative to their single-task performance.

Conclusions Seven- to 8-year-old children showed the greatest improvement in word recognition at the expense of the greatest decrement in digit recall during dual tasks. Several possibilities for improved word recognition in the dual-task conditions are discussed.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grants R01 DC04300 and P30 DC04662. We thank Sandy Estee for assistance in recruiting participants and Chad Rotolo and Anthony Garot for software development.
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