Effects of Age on Concurrent Vowel Perception in Acoustic and Simulated Electroacoustic Hearing PurposeIn this study, the authors investigated the effects of age on the use of fundamental frequency differences (ΔF0) in the perception of competing synthesized vowels in simulations of electroacoustic and cochlear-implant hearing.MethodTwelve younger listeners with normal hearing and 13 older listeners with (near) normal hearing were evaluated in their use ... Article
Article  |   February 01, 2011
Effects of Age on Concurrent Vowel Perception in Acoustic and Simulated Electroacoustic Hearing
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Kathryn H. Arehart
    University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Pamela E. Souza
    Northwestern University, Chicago, IL
  • Ramesh Kumar Muralimanohar
    University of Colorado
  • Christi Wise Miller
    University of Washington, Seattle
  • Contact author: Kathryn H. Arehart, University of Colorado at Boulder - Dept. SLHS, Campus Box 409, Boulder, Colorado 80309. E-mail: kathryn.arehart@colorado.edu.
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing
Article   |   February 01, 2011
Effects of Age on Concurrent Vowel Perception in Acoustic and Simulated Electroacoustic Hearing
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2011, Vol. 54, 190-210. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/09-0145)
History: Received July 22, 2009 , Revised March 3, 2010 , Accepted May 19, 2010
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2011, Vol. 54, 190-210. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/09-0145)
History: Received July 22, 2009; Revised March 3, 2010; Accepted May 19, 2010
Web of Science® Times Cited: 18

PurposeIn this study, the authors investigated the effects of age on the use of fundamental frequency differences (ΔF0) in the perception of competing synthesized vowels in simulations of electroacoustic and cochlear-implant hearing.

MethodTwelve younger listeners with normal hearing and 13 older listeners with (near) normal hearing were evaluated in their use of ΔF0 in the perception of competing synthesized vowels for 3 conditions: unprocessed synthesized vowels (UNP), envelope-vocoded synthesized vowels that simulated a cochlear implant (VOC), and synthesized vowels processed to simulate electroacoustic stimulation (EAS) hearing. Tasks included (a) multiplicity, which required listeners to identify whether a stimulus contained 1 or 2 sounds and (b) double-vowel identification, which required listeners to attach phonemic labels to the competing synthesized vowels.

ResultsMultiplicity perception was facilitated by ΔF0 in UNP and EAS but not in VOC, with no age-related deficits evident. Double-vowel identification was facilitated by ΔF0, with ΔF0 benefit largest in UNP, reduced in EAS, and absent in VOC. Age adversely affected overall identification and ΔF0 benefit on the double-vowel task.

ConclusionsSome but not all older listeners derived ΔF0 benefit in EAS hearing. This variability may partly be due to how listeners are able to draw on higher-level processing resources in extracting and integrating cues in EAS hearing.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant R01 DC006014, a grant from the Bloedel Hearing Research Center, and a grant from the Council on Research and Creative Work from the University of Colorado. The authors are grateful to Tim Green and Stuart Rosen for sharing their stimuli and algorithms; to James M. Kates and Jessica Rossi-Katz for discussions regarding the study design; and to Melinda Anderson, Naomi Croghan, and Alison Dykhouse for their assistance in data collection.
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