Acoustic and Semantic Enhancements for Children With Cochlear Implants PurposeIn this study, the authors examined how signal clarity interacts with the use of sentence context information in determining speech-in-noise recognition for children with cochlear implants and children with normal hearing.MethodOne hundred and twenty sentences in which the final word varied in predictability (high vs. low semantic context) were produced ... Article
Article  |   August 01, 2013
Acoustic and Semantic Enhancements for Children With Cochlear Implants
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Rajka Smiljanic
    University of Texas at Austin
  • Douglas Sladen
    Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
  • Correspondence to Rajka Smiljanic: rajka@austin.utexas.edu
  • Editor: Sid Bacon
    Editor: Sid Bacon×
  • Associate Editor: Emily Tobey
    Associate Editor: Emily Tobey×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Normal Language Processing / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing
Article   |   August 01, 2013
Acoustic and Semantic Enhancements for Children With Cochlear Implants
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2013, Vol. 56, 1085-1096. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/12-0097)
History: Received March 29, 2012 , Revised July 2, 2012 , Accepted November 28, 2012
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2013, Vol. 56, 1085-1096. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/12-0097)
History: Received March 29, 2012; Revised July 2, 2012; Accepted November 28, 2012
Web of Science® Times Cited: 7

PurposeIn this study, the authors examined how signal clarity interacts with the use of sentence context information in determining speech-in-noise recognition for children with cochlear implants and children with normal hearing.

MethodOne hundred and twenty sentences in which the final word varied in predictability (high vs. low semantic context) were produced in conversational and clear speech. Nine children with cochlear implants and 9 children with normal hearing completed the sentence-in-noise listening tests and a standardized language measure.

ResultsWord recognition in noise improved significantly for both groups of children for high-predictability sentences in clear speech. Children with normal hearing benefited more from each source of information compared with children with cochlear implants. There was a significant correlation between more developed language skills and the ability to use contextual enhancements. The smaller context gain in clear speech for children with cochlear implants is in accord with the effortfulness hypothesis (McCoy et al., 2005) and points to the cumulative effects of noise throughout the processing system.

ConclusionModifications of the speech signal and the context of the utterances through changes in the talker output hold substantial promise as a communication enhancement technique for both children with cochlear implants and children with normal hearing.

Acknowledgments
We are thankful to Rachael Gilbert, Krystin Leonard, Natalie Horstman, and Kacee Howell for assistance in data collection. We are especially thankful to all children who participated in the study and their parents. Portions of this work were presented at the 160th and 161st meetings of the Acoustical Society of America (Cancun, Mexico, November 2010, and Seattle, Washington, May 2011, respectively) and the 13th Symposium on Cochlear Implants in Children (Chicago, Illinois, July 2011).
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