Enhancing Speech Intelligibility: Interactions Among Context, Modality, Speech Style, and Masker Purpose The authors sought to investigate interactions among intelligibility-enhancing speech cues (i.e., semantic context, clearly produced speech, and visual information) across a range of masking conditions. Method Sentence recognition in noise was assessed for 29 normal-hearing listeners. Testing included semantically normal and anomalous sentences, conversational and clear speaking ... Research Article
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Research Article  |   October 01, 2014
Enhancing Speech Intelligibility: Interactions Among Context, Modality, Speech Style, and Masker
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Kristin J. Van Engen
    The University of Texas at Austin
    Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
  • Jasmine E. B. Phelps
    The University of Texas at Austin
  • Rajka Smiljanic
    The University of Texas at Austin
  • Bharath Chandrasekaran
    The University of Texas at Austin
  • 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 Bharath Chandrasekaran: bchandra@mail.utexas.edu
  • Editor: Craig Champlin
    Editor: Craig Champlin×
  • Associate Editor: Karen Helfer
    Associate Editor: Karen Helfer×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Disorders / Normal Language Processing / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2014
Enhancing Speech Intelligibility: Interactions Among Context, Modality, Speech Style, and Masker
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2014, Vol. 57, 1908-1918. doi:10.1044/JSLHR-H-13-0076
History: Received March 29, 2013 , Revised October 2, 2013 , Accepted February 20, 2014
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2014, Vol. 57, 1908-1918. doi:10.1044/JSLHR-H-13-0076
History: Received March 29, 2013; Revised October 2, 2013; Accepted February 20, 2014
Web of Science® Times Cited: 6

Purpose The authors sought to investigate interactions among intelligibility-enhancing speech cues (i.e., semantic context, clearly produced speech, and visual information) across a range of masking conditions.

Method Sentence recognition in noise was assessed for 29 normal-hearing listeners. Testing included semantically normal and anomalous sentences, conversational and clear speaking styles, auditory-only (AO) and audiovisual (AV) presentation modalities, and 4 different maskers (2-talker babble, 4-talker babble, 8-talker babble, and speech-shaped noise).

Results Semantic context, clear speech, and visual input all improved intelligibility but also interacted with one another and with masking condition. Semantic context was beneficial across all maskers in AV conditions but only in speech-shaped noise in AO conditions. Clear speech provided the most benefit for AV speech with semantically anomalous targets. Finally, listeners were better able to take advantage of visual information for meaningful versus anomalous sentences and for clear versus conversational speech.

Conclusion Because intelligibility-enhancing cues influence each other and depend on masking condition, multiple maskers and enhancement cues should be used to accurately assess individuals' speech-in-noise perception.

Acknowledgments
The University of Texas Longhorn Innovation Fund for Technology provided funding for this study, awarded to the third and fourth authors. We would like to thank Han-Gyol Yi, Britt Rachner, Stephanie Tchen, Kadee Bludau, and the members of the SoundBrain Lab for assistance in data collection and management.
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