Speech Recognition in Amplitude-Modulated Noise of Listeners With Normal and Listeners With Impaired Hearing The effect of amplitude-modulated (AM) noise on speech recognition in listeners with normal and impaired hearing was investigated in two experiments. In the first experiment, nonsense syllables were presented in high-pass steady-state or AM noise to determine whether the release from masking in AM noise relative to steady-state noise was ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 1995
Speech Recognition in Amplitude-Modulated Noise of Listeners With Normal and Listeners With Impaired Hearing
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Laurie S. Eisenberg
    UCLA School of Medicine Division of Head and Neck Surgery Los Angeles, CA
  • Donald D. Dirks
    UCLA School of Medicine Division of Head and Neck Surgery Los Angeles, CA
  • Theodore S. Bell
    UCLA School of Medicine Division of Head and Neck Surgery Los Angeles, CA
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Disorders / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 1995
Speech Recognition in Amplitude-Modulated Noise of Listeners With Normal and Listeners With Impaired Hearing
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1995, Vol. 38, 222-233. doi:10.1044/jshr.3801.222
History: Received March 2, 1994 , Accepted August 17, 1994
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1995, Vol. 38, 222-233. doi:10.1044/jshr.3801.222
History: Received March 2, 1994; Accepted August 17, 1994

The effect of amplitude-modulated (AM) noise on speech recognition in listeners with normal and impaired hearing was investigated in two experiments. In the first experiment, nonsense syllables were presented in high-pass steady-state or AM noise to determine whether the release from masking in AM noise relative to steady-state noise was significantly different between normal-hearing and hearing-impaired subjects when the two groups listened under equivalent masker conditions. The normal-hearing subjects were tested in the experimental noise under two conditions: (a) in a spectrally shaped broadband noise that produced pure tone thresholds equivalent to those of the hearing-impaired subjects, and (b) without the spectrally shaped broadband noise. The release from masking in AM noise was significantly greater for the normal-hearing group than for either the hearing-impaired or masked normal-hearing groups. In the second experiment, normal-hearing and hearing-impaired subjects identified nonsense syllables in isolation and target words in sentences in steady-state or AM noise adjusted to approximate the spectral shape and gain of a hearing aid prescription. The release from masking was significantly less for the subjects with impaired hearing. These data suggest that hearingimpaired listeners obtain less release from masking in AM noise than do normal-hearing listeners even when both the speech and noise are presented at levels that are above threshold over much of the speech frequency range.

Acknowledgments
This research was funded by grants from NIH-NIDCD (DC00008, DC00094) and the Department of Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation Research and Development Service (C432). The authors express gratitude to David Strelioff for technical contributions, Amy Schaefer for assistance in data collection, and Larry Humes for reviewing an early draft of this paper. The editorial comments of Sandra Gordon-Salant and three anonymous reviewers are also gratefully acknowledged.
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