The Relation Between Stimulus Context, Speech Audibility, and Perception for Normal-Hearing and Hearing-Impaired Children In this study, the influence of stimulus context and audibility on sentence recognition was assessed in 60 normal-hearing children, 23 hearing-impaired children, and 20 normal-hearing adults. Performance-intensity (PI) functions were obtained for 60 semantically correct and 60 semantically anomalous sentences. For each participant, an audibility index (AI) was calculated at ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 2000
The Relation Between Stimulus Context, Speech Audibility, and Perception for Normal-Hearing and Hearing-Impaired Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Patricia G. Stelmachowicz
    Boys Town National Research Hospital Omaha, NE
  • Brenda M. Hoover
    Boys Town National Research Hospital Omaha, NE
  • Dawna E. Lewis
    Boys Town National Research Hospital Omaha, NE
  • Reinier W. L. Kortekaas
    Boys Town National Research Hospital Omaha, NE
  • Andrea L. Pittman
    Boys Town National Research Hospital Omaha, NE
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: stelmach@boystown.org
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing Disorders / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 2000
The Relation Between Stimulus Context, Speech Audibility, and Perception for Normal-Hearing and Hearing-Impaired Children
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2000, Vol. 43, 902-914. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4304.902
History: Received May 14, 1999 , Accepted January 19, 2000
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2000, Vol. 43, 902-914. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4304.902
History: Received May 14, 1999; Accepted January 19, 2000

In this study, the influence of stimulus context and audibility on sentence recognition was assessed in 60 normal-hearing children, 23 hearing-impaired children, and 20 normal-hearing adults. Performance-intensity (PI) functions were obtained for 60 semantically correct and 60 semantically anomalous sentences. For each participant, an audibility index (AI) was calculated at each presentation level, and a logistic function was fitted to rau-transformed percent-correct values to estimate the SPL and AI required to achieve 70% performance. For both types of sentences, there was a systematic age-related shift in the PI functions, suggesting that young children require a higher AI to achieve performance equivalent to that of adults. Improvement in performance with the addition of semantic context was statistically significant only for the normal-hearing 5-year-olds and adults. Data from the hearing-impaired children showed age-related trends that were similar to those of the normal-hearing children, with the majority of individual data falling within the 5th and 95th percentile of normal. The implications of these findings in terms of hearing-aid fitting strategies for young children are discussed.

Acknowledgments
The authors would like to thank Susan Nittrouer for her useful advice on the design of this study. We also wish to thank Donna Neff and three anonymous reviewers for constructive comments on an earlier version of this manuscript. This research was supported by NIH.
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