Children's Identification of Consonants in a Speech-Shaped Noise or a Two-Talker Masker PurposeTo evaluate child–adult differences for consonant identification in a noise or a 2-talker masker. Error patterns were compared across age and masker type to test the hypothesis that errors with the noise masker reflect limitations in the peripheral encoding of speech, whereas errors with the 2-talker masker reflect target–masker confusions ... Article
Article  |   August 01, 2013
Children's Identification of Consonants in a Speech-Shaped Noise or a Two-Talker Masker
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lori J. Leibold
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Emily Buss
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Correspondence to Lori J. Leibold: lori_leibold@med.unc.edu
  • Editor: Sid Bacon
    Editor: Sid Bacon×
  • Associate Editor: Eric Healy
    Associate Editor: Eric Healy×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing
Article   |   August 01, 2013
Children's Identification of Consonants in a Speech-Shaped Noise or a Two-Talker Masker
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2013, Vol. 56, 1144-1155. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/12-0011)
History: Received January 5, 2012 , Revised June 30, 2012 , Accepted December 10, 2012
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2013, Vol. 56, 1144-1155. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/12-0011)
History: Received January 5, 2012; Revised June 30, 2012; Accepted December 10, 2012
Web of Science® Times Cited: 17

PurposeTo evaluate child–adult differences for consonant identification in a noise or a 2-talker masker. Error patterns were compared across age and masker type to test the hypothesis that errors with the noise masker reflect limitations in the peripheral encoding of speech, whereas errors with the 2-talker masker reflect target–masker confusions within the central auditory system.

MethodA repeated-measures design compared the performance of children (5–13 years) and adults in continuous speech-shaped noise or a 2-talker masker. Consonants were identified from a closed set of 12 using a picture-pointing response.

ResultsIn speech-shaped noise, children under age 10 years performed more poorly than adults, but performance was adultlike for 11- to 13-year-olds. In the 2-talker masker, significant child–adult differences were observed in even the oldest group of children. Systematic clusters of consonant errors were observed for children in the noise masker and for adults in both maskers, but not for children in the 2-talker masker.

ConclusionsThese results suggest a more prolonged time course of development for consonant identification in a 2-talker masker than in a noise masker. Differences in error patterns between the maskers support the hypothesis that errors with the 2-talker masker reflect failures of sound segregation.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant R01 DC011038. Portions of these results were presented at the American Auditory Society Annual Meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona, in March 2011. We are grateful to the members of the Human Auditory Development Laboratory for their assistance with data collection.
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