Reliability and Validity of Infant Speech-Sound Discrimination-in-Noise Thresholds Infants were tested on a speech-sound discrimination-in-noise task using the visual reinforcement infant speech discrimination (VRISD) procedure with an adaptive (up-down) threshold protocol. An adult control group was tested using the same stimuli and apparatus. The speech sounds were synthetic /ba/ and /ga/. The masker was band-passed noise presented continuously ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 1991
Reliability and Validity of Infant Speech-Sound Discrimination-in-Noise Thresholds
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Robert J. Nozza
    Department of Otolaryngology University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and The Audiology Center Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
  • Sandra L. Miller
    University of Pittsburgh
  • Reva N. F. Rossman
    University of Pittsburgh
  • Linda C. Bond
    Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
  • Requests for reprints should be sent to Robert J. Nozza, PhD, The Audiology Center, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, One Children’s Place, 3705 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213–2583.
  • Currently affiliated with the State University of New York at Geneseo.
    Currently affiliated with the State University of New York at Geneseo.×
Article Information
Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 1991
Reliability and Validity of Infant Speech-Sound Discrimination-in-Noise Thresholds
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1991, Vol. 34, 643-650. doi:10.1044/jshr.3403.643
History: Received January 8, 1990 , Accepted July 28, 1990
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1991, Vol. 34, 643-650. doi:10.1044/jshr.3403.643
History: Received January 8, 1990; Accepted July 28, 1990

Infants were tested on a speech-sound discrimination-in-noise task using the visual reinforcement infant speech discrimination (VRISD) procedure with an adaptive (up-down) threshold protocol. An adult control group was tested using the same stimuli and apparatus. The speech sounds were synthetic /ba/ and /ga/. The masker was band-passed noise presented continuously at 48 dB SPL. Test-retest reliability was good for both groups, although test-retest differences were smaller for adults. For infants the mean of the absolute values of the differences between tests was only 5.2 dB, and there was less than a 10-dB difference between the two tests of 14 (87.5%) of the 16 infants completing the study. The infant-adult difference in discrimination threshold in noise was 6.9 dB, which agrees well with detection-in-noise thresholds from earlier studies and with discrimination-in-noise thresholds obtained on a subset of subjects in our earlier work. Advantages of the adaptive threshold procedure and its possible applications both in research studies and in the clinic are discussed.

Acknowledgments
We would like to thank the nurses and supervisors in the nurseries at Magee Women’s Hospital for help in recruiting subjects and the mothers, fathers, and infants who participated. We also are pleased to acknowledge David Kardatzke for help with data analysis, Doug Sellers for help with the computer-generated figures, and Laura Talak for help in preparation of the manuscript. This project was supported by the National Institutes of Health Grant NS16337 (Otitis Media Research Center, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh).
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