Reducing the Effects of Background Noise During Auditory Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Speech Processing: Qualitative and Quantitative Comparisons Between Two Image Acquisition Schemes and Noise Cancellation PurposeThe intense sound generated during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) complicates studies of speech and hearing. This experiment evaluated the benefits of using active noise cancellation (ANC), which attenuates the level of the scanner sound at the participant’s ear by up to 35 dB around the peak at 600 Hz.MethodSpeech ... Article
Article  |   April 01, 2011
Reducing the Effects of Background Noise During Auditory Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Speech Processing: Qualitative and Quantitative Comparisons Between Two Image Acquisition Schemes and Noise Cancellation
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Graham A. Blackman
    MRC Institute of Hearing Research, Nottingham, United Kingdom
    MRC Institute of Hearing Research, Nottingham, United Kingdom
  • Deborah A. Hall
    MRC Institute of Hearing Research, Nottingham, United Kingdom
    MRC Institute of Hearing Research, Nottingham, United Kingdom
  • Correspondence to Deborah A. Hall: deb.hall@nottingham.ac.uk
  • Editor: Robert Schlauch
    Editor: Robert Schlauch×
  • Associate Editor: Jennifer Melcher
    Associate Editor: Jennifer Melcher×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing
Article   |   April 01, 2011
Reducing the Effects of Background Noise During Auditory Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Speech Processing: Qualitative and Quantitative Comparisons Between Two Image Acquisition Schemes and Noise Cancellation
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2011, Vol. 54, 693-704. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/10-0143)
History: Received May 28, 2010 , Accepted September 9, 2010
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2011, Vol. 54, 693-704. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/10-0143)
History: Received May 28, 2010; Accepted September 9, 2010
Web of Science® Times Cited: 9

PurposeThe intense sound generated during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) complicates studies of speech and hearing. This experiment evaluated the benefits of using active noise cancellation (ANC), which attenuates the level of the scanner sound at the participant’s ear by up to 35 dB around the peak at 600 Hz.

MethodSpeech and narrowband noise were presented at a low sound level to 8 listeners during fMRI using 2 common scanning protocols: short (“continuous”) and long (“sparse”) temporal schemes. Three outcome measures were acquired simultaneously during fMRI: ratings of listening quality, discrimination performance, and brain activity.

ResultsSubjective ratings and discrimination performance were significantly improved by ANC and sparse acquisition. Sparse acquisition was the more robust method for detecting auditory cortical activity. ANC reduced some of the “extra-auditory” activity that might be associated with the effort required for perceptual discrimination in a noisy environment and also offered small improvements for detecting activity within Heschl’s gyrus and planum polare.

ConclusionsFor the scanning protocols evaluated here, the sparse temporal scheme was the more preferable for detecting sound-evoked activity. In addition, ANC ensures that listening difficulty is determined more by the chosen stimulus parameters and less by the adverse testing environment.

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