Children's Perception of Speech Produced in a Two-Talker Background PurposeThis study evaluated the degree to which children benefit from the acoustic modifications made by talkers when they produce speech in noise.MethodA repeated measures design compared the speech perception performance of children (5–11 years) and adults in a 2-talker masker. Target speech was produced in a 2-talker background or in ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2014
Children's Perception of Speech Produced in a Two-Talker Background
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Mallory Baker
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Emily Buss
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Adam Jacks
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Crystal Taylor
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Lori J. Leibold
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Disclosure:The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure:The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Lori J. Leibold: lori_leibold@med.unc.edu
  • Editor: Craig Champlin
    Editor: Craig Champlin×
  • Associate Editor: Marjorie Leek
    Associate Editor: Marjorie Leek×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing
Research Article   |   February 01, 2014
Children's Perception of Speech Produced in a Two-Talker Background
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2014, Vol. 57, 327-337. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2013/12-0287)
History: Received September 7, 2012 , Revised March 26, 2013 , Accepted June 7, 2013
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2014, Vol. 57, 327-337. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2013/12-0287)
History: Received September 7, 2012; Revised March 26, 2013; Accepted June 7, 2013
Web of Science® Times Cited: 4

PurposeThis study evaluated the degree to which children benefit from the acoustic modifications made by talkers when they produce speech in noise.

MethodA repeated measures design compared the speech perception performance of children (5–11 years) and adults in a 2-talker masker. Target speech was produced in a 2-talker background or in quiet. In Experiment 1, recognition with the 2 target sets was assessed using an adaptive spondee identification procedure. In Experiment 2, the benefit of speech produced in a 2-talker background was assessed using an open-set, monosyllabic word recognition task at a fixed signal-to-noise ratio (SNR).

ResultsChildren performed more poorly than adults, regardless of whether the target speech was produced in quiet or in a 2-talker background. A small improvement in the SNR required to identify spondees was observed for both children and adults using speech produced in a 2-talker background (Experiment 1). Similarly, average open-set word recognition scores were 11 percentage points higher for both age groups using speech produced in a 2-talker background compared with quiet (Experiment 2).

ConclusionThe results indicate that children can use the acoustic modifications of speech produced in a 2-talker background to improve masked speech perception, as previously demonstrated for adults.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant DC011038. Portions of these results were presented at the annual meeting of the American Auditory Society in Scottsdale, AZ, in March 2012. We are grateful to the members of the Human Auditory Development Laboratory for their assistance with data collection.
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