Relationship Between Consonant Recognition in Noise and Hearing Threshold Purpose: Although poorer understanding of speech in noise by listeners who are hearing-impaired (HI) is known not to be directly related to audiometric hearing threshold, HT (f), grouping HI listeners with HT (f) is widely practiced. In this article, the relationship between consonant recognition and HT (f) is considered ... Article
Article  |   April 2012
Relationship Between Consonant Recognition in Noise and Hearing Threshold
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Yang-soo Yoon
    House Research Institute, Los Angeles, CA
  • Jont B. Allen
    University of Illinois at Urbana−Champaign
  • David M. Gooler
    University of Illinois at Urbana−Champaign
  • Correspondence to Yang-soo Yoon: yyoon@hei.org
  • Editor: Robert Schlauch
    Editor: Robert Schlauch×
  • Associate Editor: Kathryn Arehart
    Associate Editor: Kathryn Arehart×
  • © 2012 American Speech-Language-Hearing AssociationAmerican Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Disorders / Hearing
Article   |   April 2012
Relationship Between Consonant Recognition in Noise and Hearing Threshold
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2012, Vol. 55, 460-473. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/10-0239)
History: Received August 25, 2010 , Revised April 11, 2011 , Accepted July 19, 2011
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2012, Vol. 55, 460-473. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/10-0239)
History: Received August 25, 2010; Revised April 11, 2011; Accepted July 19, 2011
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Purpose: Although poorer understanding of speech in noise by listeners who are hearing-impaired (HI) is known not to be directly related to audiometric hearing threshold, HT (f), grouping HI listeners with HT (f) is widely practiced. In this article, the relationship between consonant recognition and HT (f) is considered over a range of signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs).

Method: Confusion matrices (CMs) from 25 HI ears were generated in response to 16 consonant-vowel syllables presented at 6 different SNRs. Individual differences scaling (INDSCAL) was applied to both feature-based matrices and CMs in order to evaluate the relationship between HT (f) and consonant recognition among HI listeners.

Results: The results showed no predictive relationship between the percent error scores (Pe) and HT (f) across SNRs. The multiple regression models showed that the HT (f) accounted for 39% of the total variance of the slopes of the Pe. Feature-based INDSCAL analysis showed consistent grouping of listeners across SNRs, but not in terms of HT (f). Systematic relationship between measures was also not defined by CM-based INDSCAL analysis across SNRs.

Conclusions: HT (f) did not account for the majority of the variance (39%) in consonant recognition in noise when the complete body of the CM was considered.

Acknowledgments
The data collection expenses were covered through research funding provided by Etymotic Research. We thank all members of the Human Speech Recognition group at the Beckman Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign for their help. Our special thanks go to Feipeng Li and Sandeep Phatak for their careful reading and valuable suggestions. We thank Andrew Lovitt for writing the Matlab data collection code. We want to thank Justin Aronoff, associate researcher at House Ear Institute for his comments on MDS computation and interpretation of the results and thank Laurel Fisher for valuable comments on the regression analyses.
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