Speech Perception in Low-Pass Filtered Noise for Normal and Hearing-Impaired Listeners Two experiments were conducted concerning speech perception in noise. In Experiment 1, a comparison was made between adaptive and fixed-level procedures to estimate the S/N ratio at which 50% correct performance occurred for nonsense syllables for normal-hearing listeners. The two methods yield similar S/N ratio estimates, but the consonant confusions ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 1990
Speech Perception in Low-Pass Filtered Noise for Normal and Hearing-Impaired Listeners
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Patricia G. Stelmachowicz
    Boys Town National Institute
  • Dawna E. Lewis
    Boys Town National Institute
  • William J. Kelly
    Boys Town National Institute
  • Walt Jesteadt
    Boys Town National Institute
  • Requests for reprints should be sent to Patricia Stelmachowicz, Boys Town National Institute for Communication Disorders in Children, 555 N. 30th Street, Omaha, NE 68131.
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 1990
Speech Perception in Low-Pass Filtered Noise for Normal and Hearing-Impaired Listeners
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1990, Vol. 33, 290-297. doi:10.1044/jshr.3302.290
History: Received March 21, 1989 , Accepted December 29, 1989
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1990, Vol. 33, 290-297. doi:10.1044/jshr.3302.290
History: Received March 21, 1989; Accepted December 29, 1989

Two experiments were conducted concerning speech perception in noise. In Experiment 1, a comparison was made between adaptive and fixed-level procedures to estimate the S/N ratio at which 50% correct performance occurred for nonsense syllables for normal-hearing listeners. The two methods yield similar S/N ratio estimates, but the consonant confusions found with the fixed-level method could not be predicted accurately from the adaptive procedure. In Experiment 2, the adaptive procedure was used to estimate the S/N ratio for a 50% performance level in low-pass filtered noise with a range of cutoff frequencies. Data were obtained from 5 normal-hearing listeners at two speech levels (50 and 75 dB SPL) and 4 hearing-impaired listeners at one speech level (75 dB SPL). The hearing-impaired listeners required a better S/N ratio than the normal listeners at either presentation level for all except the widest bandwidth, where their S/N ratios began to converge with the normal values. In addition, the S/N ratios for the hearing-impaired listeners plateaued at relatively narrow bandwidths (0.75 to 2.5 kHz) compared to the normal-hearing group (3.0 to 5.0 kHz). That is, the addition of high-frequency components to the noise did not alter performance. These findings suggest that the hearing-impaired listeners may have relied upon either low-frequency cues or prosodic cues in the perception of these test items.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The authors thank Dave Fabry and Theodore Bell for many helpful comments on an earlier version of this paper. We also thank Betsy From for assistance in the preparation of this manuscript. This work was supported by NIH.
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