F0 Processing and the Seperation of Competing Speech Signals by Listeners With Normal Hearing and With Hearing Loss Normal-hearing and hearing-impaired listeners were tested to determine F0 difference limens for synthetic tokens of 5 steady-state vowels. The same stimuli were then used in a concurrent-vowel labeling task with the F0 difference between concurrent vowels ranging between 0 and 4 semitones. Finally, speech recognition was tested for synthetic sentences ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 1998
F0 Processing and the Seperation of Competing Speech Signals by Listeners With Normal Hearing and With Hearing Loss
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Van Summers
    Army Audiology & Speech Center Walter Reed Army Medical Center Washington, D.C.
  • Marjorie R. Leek
    Army Audiology & Speech Center Walter Reed Army Medical Center Washington, D.C.
  • Contact author: Van Summers, Army Audiology and Speech Center, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C. 20307-5001.
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 1998
F0 Processing and the Seperation of Competing Speech Signals by Listeners With Normal Hearing and With Hearing Loss
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1998, Vol. 41, 1294-1306. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4106.1294
History: Received January 9, 1998 , Accepted August 5, 1998
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1998, Vol. 41, 1294-1306. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4106.1294
History: Received January 9, 1998; Accepted August 5, 1998

Normal-hearing and hearing-impaired listeners were tested to determine F0 difference limens for synthetic tokens of 5 steady-state vowels. The same stimuli were then used in a concurrent-vowel labeling task with the F0 difference between concurrent vowels ranging between 0 and 4 semitones. Finally, speech recognition was tested for synthetic sentences in the presence of a competing synthetic voice with the same, a higher, or a lower F0. Normal-hearing listeners and hearing-impaired listeners with small F0-discrimination (ΔF0) thresholds showed improvements in vowel labeling when there were differences in F0 between vowels on the concurrent-vowel task. Impaired listeners with high ΔF0 thresholds did not benefit from F0 differences between vowels. At the group level, normalhearing listeners benefited more than hearing-impaired listeners from F0 differences between competing signals on both the concurrent-vowel and sentence tasks. However, for individual listeners, ΔF0 thresholds and improvements in concurrent-vowel labeling based on F0 differences were only weakly associated with F0-based improvements in performance on the sentence task. For both the concurrent-vowel and sentence tasks, there was evidence that the ability to benefit from F0 differences between competing signals decreases with age.

Acknowledgments
We thank Chris Turner, Sandy Gordon-Salant, and two anonymous reviewers for valuable suggestions on an earlier version of this manuscript. This research was supported by Grant DC 00626 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders to Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The work was carried out under Work Unit #2549 (Clinical Investigation Service, Walter Reed Army Medical Center). All listeners participating in this research provided written informed consent prior to beginning the study. The opinions or assertions contained herein are the private views of the authors and are not to be construed as official or as reflecting the views of the Department of the Army or the Department of Defense.
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