Consequences of Broad Auditory Filters for Identification of Multichannel-Compressed Vowels PurposeIn view of previous findings (Bor, Souza, & Wright, 2008) that some listeners are more susceptible to spectral changes from multichannel compression (MCC) than others, this study addressed the extent to which differences in effects of MCC were related to differences in auditory filter width.MethodListeners were recruited in 3 groups: ... Article
Article  |   April 01, 2012
Consequences of Broad Auditory Filters for Identification of Multichannel-Compressed Vowels
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Pamela Souza
    Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
  • Richard Wright
    University of Washington, Seattle
  • Stephanie Bor
    University of Washington, Seattle
  • Correspondence to Pamela Souza: p-souza@northwestern.edu
  • Editor: Robert Schlauch
    Editor: Robert Schlauch×
  • Associate Editor: Peggy Nelson
    Associate Editor: Peggy Nelson×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing
Article   |   April 01, 2012
Consequences of Broad Auditory Filters for Identification of Multichannel-Compressed Vowels
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2012, Vol. 55, 474-486. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/10-0238)
History: Received August 25, 2010 , Revised April 18, 2011 , Accepted August 9, 2011
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2012, Vol. 55, 474-486. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/10-0238)
History: Received August 25, 2010; Revised April 18, 2011; Accepted August 9, 2011
Web of Science® Times Cited: 7

PurposeIn view of previous findings (Bor, Souza, & Wright, 2008) that some listeners are more susceptible to spectral changes from multichannel compression (MCC) than others, this study addressed the extent to which differences in effects of MCC were related to differences in auditory filter width.

MethodListeners were recruited in 3 groups: listeners with flat sensorineural loss, listeners with sloping sensorineural loss, and a control group of listeners with normal hearing. Individual auditory filter measurements were obtained at 500 and 2000 Hz. The filter widths were related to identification of vowels processed with 16-channel MCC and with a control (linear) condition.

ResultsListeners with flat loss had broader filters at 500 Hz but not at 2000 Hz compared with listeners with sloping loss. Vowel identification was poorer for MCC compared with linear amplification. Listeners with flat loss made more errors than listeners with sloping loss, and there was a significant relationship between filter width and the effects of MCC.

ConclusionsBroadened auditory filters can reduce the ability to process amplitude-compressed vowel spectra. This suggests that individual frequency selectivity is a factor that influences benefit of MCC when a high number of compression channels are used.

Acknowledgments
Work was supported by National Institutes of Health Grant R01 DC0060014. We thank Kathryn Arehart, Marjorie Leek, Michelle Molis, and Chris Stecker for sharing code and expertise for portions of this project, and Star Reed and James Dewey for help with data analysis. Andy Sabin and Jon Siegel provided helpful suggestions regarding filter measurements. We also thank Steve Armstrong and Gennum Corporation (Burlington, Ontario, Canada) for providing the software used to simulate hearing aid compression.
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