Double-Vowel Perception in Listeners With Cochlear Hearing Loss Differences in Fundamental Frequency, Ear of Presentation, and Relative Amplitude Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2005
Double-Vowel Perception in Listeners With Cochlear Hearing Loss
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Kathryn Hoberg Arehart
    University of Colorado at Boulder
  • Jessica Rossi-Katz
    University of Colorado at Boulder
  • Julie Swensson-Prutsman
    University of Colorado at Boulder
  • Contact author: Kathryn Hoberg Arehart, Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder, 409 UCB, Boulder, Colorado 80309-0409.
    Contact author: Kathryn Hoberg Arehart, Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder, 409 UCB, Boulder, Colorado 80309-0409.×
  • Corresponding author: E-mail: Kathryn.arehart@colorado.edu
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 2005
Double-Vowel Perception in Listeners With Cochlear Hearing Loss
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2005, Vol. 48, 236-252. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2005/017)
History: Received May 23, 2003 , Accepted June 22, 2004
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2005, Vol. 48, 236-252. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2005/017)
History: Received May 23, 2003; Accepted June 22, 2004
Web of Science® Times Cited: 18

This study presents 2 experiments investigating whether listeners with cochlear hearing loss (hearing impaired; HI) and listeners with normal hearing (NH) show differential susceptibility to masking in double-vowel identification. Experiment 1 addressed how double-vowel perception changes as a function of differences in fundamental frequency (ΔF0) of 0 and 2 semitones and the relative amplitudes of the constituent vowels (target-to-masker ratios: –10, –5, 0, 5, 10 dB). When ΔF0 is 0 semitones, listeners in the HI group often perceive the presence of only 1 vowel, whereas listeners in the NH group generally perceive the presence of 2 vowels. In both groups, ΔF0 benefits target-vowel identification, with the greatest benefit occurring when the target-to-masker ratio is –10 dB. When identification rates of specific vowels (in d') were rank ordered, different patterns of vowel dominance were found between the NH and HI groups. In Experiment 2, the effects of ΔF0 (0 to 4 semitones) were compared for monaural and dichotic presentation of double vowels. Both groups show significant dichotic benefit. In addition, individual listeners in the HI group showed trends toward greater dichotic benefit. In both experiments, identification of competing vowels was significantly worse in HI listeners. The results of this study support the idea that increased susceptibility to masking is a primary factor underlying the degraded double-vowel perception in listeners with hearing loss.

Acknowledgments
Portions of the results were part of theses submitted by Jessica Rossi-Katz and Julie Swensson-Prutsman to the University of Colorado at Boulder in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the master of arts degree. This research was supported in part by the Deafness Research Foundation and the Whitaker Foundation. In addition, the preparation of this article was partially supported by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Grant/Cooperative Agreement UR3/CCU824219. The contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.
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