Modulation Masking in Listeners With Sensorineural Hearing Loss This study compares amplitude-modulation (AM) masking in listeners with normal hearing and in listeners with a hearing loss. To address this issue, we measured the detection of sinusoidal AM applied to a white noise carrier, as a function of the frequency of a masking sinusoidal AM applied to the same ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 1997
Modulation Masking in Listeners With Sensorineural Hearing Loss
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Christian Lorenzi
    Laboratoire PCH Département de Psychologie Cognitive Institut de Psychologie Université Lumière Lyon II Bron, France
  • Christophe Micheyl
    Laboratoire de Physiologie Sensorielle Perception et Mécanismes Auditifs Lyon, France
  • Frédéric Berthommier
    Institut de la Communication Parlée Grenoble, France
  • Serge Portalier
    Laboratoire PCH Département de Psychologie Cognitive Institut de Psychologie Université Lumière Lyon II Bron, France
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing Disorders / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 1997
Modulation Masking in Listeners With Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1997, Vol. 40, 200-207. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4001.200
History: Received January 16, 1996 , Accepted September 17, 1996
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1997, Vol. 40, 200-207. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4001.200
History: Received January 16, 1996; Accepted September 17, 1996

This study compares amplitude-modulation (AM) masking in listeners with normal hearing and in listeners with a hearing loss. To address this issue, we measured the detection of sinusoidal AM applied to a white noise carrier, as a function of the frequency of a masking sinusoidal AM applied to the same noise carrier. These input filter patterns were measured for four listeners with normal hearing and three listeners with moderate or mild-to-severe sensorineural hearing losses. Stimuli were presented at 50 dB SL for all listeners with normal hearing and for two of the three listeners with hearing loss. The third listener with hearing loss was tested at 25 dB SL. For the listeners with normal hearing, the input filter patterns obtained for 100-Hz signal modulation had a broad bandpass characteristic. All input filter patterns showed a primary masking peak at 100 Hz. A secondary masking peak was apparent also at 50 Hz. For the listeners with impaired hearing, the unmasked modulation thresholds were similar to those measured in the listeners with normal hearing. One listener with moderate hearing loss exhibited a broadly tuned input filter pattern with a masking peak at 100 Hz, but no secondary peak. The two other listeners with moderate or mild-to-severe sensorineural hearing loss showed no main masking peak and increased thresholds at low masker modulation frequencies. These results suggest that cochlear damage may affect performance in a modulation masking task.

Acknowledgments
The authors are indebted to S. P. Bacon, R. P. Carlyon, and B. C. J . Moore for very helpful guidance and constructive comments on an earlier version of the manuscript. The authors wish to thank E. A. Strickland for providing data on modulation masking in listeners with normal hearing (Strickland & Viemeister, 1996) and M. A. Akeroyd, D. W. Grantham, S. Münkner, and an anonymous reviewer for helpful comments. The authors gratefully acknowledge the collaboration of Dr. F. Bazin, Dr. P. D. Bright, and Dr. L. Collet.
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