Loudness Discrimination of Speech Signals Spectrally Shaped by a Simulated Hearing Aid A discrimination task was used to assess changes in the loudness of speech that accompanied changes in the spectral tilt of a simulated hearing aid’s frequency response. Band-limited (0.25–4 kHz) spondaic words were spectrally shaped at comparison tilt-factor values of −6, 0, and +6 dB per octave and delivered monaurally ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 1999
Loudness Discrimination of Speech Signals Spectrally Shaped by a Simulated Hearing Aid
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Brad Rakerd
    Department of Audiology and Speech Sciences Michigan State University East Lansing
  • Jerry Punch
    Department of Audiology and Speech Sciences Michigan State University East Lansing
  • Willard Hooks
    Department of Audiology and Speech Sciences Michigan State University East Lansing
  • Amyn Amlani
    Department of Audiology and Speech Sciences Michigan State University East Lansing
  • Timothy J. Vander Velde
    Department of Audiology and Speech Sciences Michigan State University East Lansing
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: rakerd@pilot.msu.edu.
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 1999
Loudness Discrimination of Speech Signals Spectrally Shaped by a Simulated Hearing Aid
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1999, Vol. 42, 1285-1294. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4206.1285
History: Received November 16, 1998 , Accepted April 19, 1999
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1999, Vol. 42, 1285-1294. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4206.1285
History: Received November 16, 1998; Accepted April 19, 1999

A discrimination task was used to assess changes in the loudness of speech that accompanied changes in the spectral tilt of a simulated hearing aid’s frequency response. Band-limited (0.25–4 kHz) spondaic words were spectrally shaped at comparison tilt-factor values of −6, 0, and +6 dB per octave and delivered monaurally via insert earphone to each of 10 listeners with normal hearing (NH) and 15 listeners with mild-to-moderate sensorineural hearing impairment (HI). Results for the NH listeners indicated that loudness differences among the tilt factors were generally perceptible and that loudness judgments were highly transitive across different tilt-factor comparisons. Loudness differences were also perceptible to many of the HI listeners when they switched among tilt factors. The HI listeners’ data showed some evidence of transitivity, but not so much as was shown by the NH listeners. Intersubject variability in the loudness judgments was found to be comparable for the two subject groups. Results of the study are discussed with regard to their implications for hearing aid fitting, with particular emphasis on the “parameter adjustment and selection” fitting procedure (J. Punch & R. Robb, 1992).

KEY WORDS: hearing, hearing aids, programmable hearing aids, fitting, loudness

Acknowledgments
This study was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIDCD Grant DC0018) and by the Michigan State University Hearing Research Center. We acknowledge Randy Robb for his assistance with computer programming and thank the staff of the Oyer Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic, Michigan State University, for their help in identifying participants for this study.
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