Article  |   August 2011
Children’s Performance in Complex Listening Conditions: Effects of Hearing Loss and Digital Noise Reduction
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Andrea Pittman
    Arizona State University, Tempe
    Arizona State University, Tempe
  • Correspondence to Andrea Pittman: andrea.pittman@asu.edu
  • Editor: Robert Schlauch
    Editor: Robert Schlauch×
  • Associate Editor: Kathryn Arehart
    Associate Editor: Kathryn Arehart×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Hearing
Article   |   August 2011
Children’s Performance in Complex Listening Conditions: Effects of Hearing Loss and Digital Noise Reduction
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2011, Vol. 54, 1224-1239. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/10-0225)
History: Received August 13, 2010 , Revised December 2, 2010 , Accepted December 28, 2010
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2011, Vol. 54, 1224-1239. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/10-0225)
History: Received August 13, 2010; Revised December 2, 2010; Accepted December 28, 2010
Web of Science® Times Cited: 6

Purpose: To determine the effect of hearing loss (HL) on children’s performance for an auditory task under demanding listening conditions and to determine the effect of digital noise reduction (DNR) on that performance.

Method: Fifty children with normal hearing (NH) and 30 children with HL (8–12 years of age) categorized words in the presence of auditory or visual competitors, or both. Stimuli were presented at 50 dB SPL at a 0-dB signal-to-noise ratio. Children with HL were fitted with behind-the-ear hearing aids that had DNR technology. When DNR was activated, output decreased 4 dB, and signal-to-noise ratio increased 2 dB.

Results: Significant main effects of group and age were observed. Performance for both groups decreased in noise, and the performance of the children with HL decreased further with the addition of the visual task. However, performance was unaffected by DNR. For the children with HL, stimulus audibility and communication skills contributed significantly to performance, whereas their history of hearing aid use did not.

Conclusions: For the children with HL, tasks unrelated to hearing interfered with their ability to participate in the auditory task. Consistent with previous studies, performance in noise was unaffected by DNR.

Acknowledgments
This study was funded by a grant from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Foundation (Clinical Research Award). The author is grateful to Samantha Gustafson, Sara Bos, Kristi Petersen, Devin Anderson, and Christine Page for their help during data collection and analysis; Bill Cole for his assistance with hearing aid analysis; Lylis Olsen, Shelby Willa, and the audiologists at Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Children’s Rehabilitative Services for their help with subject recruitment; Bob Fanning for his comments on early versions of this article; and, most of all, the children and their families for sharing their precious time with us.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access