All Cues Are Not Created Equal: The Case for Facilitating the Acquisition of Typical Weighting Strategies in Children With Hearing Loss Purpose One task of childhood involves learning to optimally weight acoustic cues in the speech signal in order to recover phonemic categories. This study examined the extent to which spectral degradation, as associated with cochlear implants, might interfere. The 3 goals were to measure, for adults and children, (a) cue ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2015
All Cues Are Not Created Equal: The Case for Facilitating the Acquisition of Typical Weighting Strategies in Children With Hearing Loss
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Joanna H. Lowenstein
    The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Susan Nittrouer
    The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • 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 Joanna H. Lowenstein: lowenstein.6@osu.edu
  • Editor: Nancy Tye-Murray
    Editor: Nancy Tye-Murray×
  • Associate Editor: Richard Dowell
    Associate Editor: Richard Dowell×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 2015
All Cues Are Not Created Equal: The Case for Facilitating the Acquisition of Typical Weighting Strategies in Children With Hearing Loss
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2015, Vol. 58, 466-480. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-H-14-0254
History: Received September 10, 2014 , Revised November 12, 2014 , Accepted November 21, 2014
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2015, Vol. 58, 466-480. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-H-14-0254
History: Received September 10, 2014; Revised November 12, 2014; Accepted November 21, 2014
Web of Science® Times Cited: 2

Purpose One task of childhood involves learning to optimally weight acoustic cues in the speech signal in order to recover phonemic categories. This study examined the extent to which spectral degradation, as associated with cochlear implants, might interfere. The 3 goals were to measure, for adults and children, (a) cue weighting with spectrally degraded signals, (b) sensitivity to degraded cues, and (c) word recognition for degraded signals.

Method Twenty-three adults and 36 children (10 and 8 years old) labeled spectrally degraded stimuli from /bɑ/-to-/wɑ/ continua varying in formant and amplitude rise time (FRT and ART). They also discriminated degraded stimuli from FRT and ART continua, and recognized words.

Results A developmental increase in the weight assigned to FRT in labeling was clearly observed, with a slight decrease in weight assigned to ART. Sensitivity to these degraded cues measured by the discrimination task could not explain variability in cue weighting. FRT cue weighting explained significant variability in word recognition; ART cue weighting did not.

Conclusion Spectral degradation affects children more than adults, but that degradation cannot explain the greater diminishment in children's weighting of FRT. It is suggested that auditory training could strengthen the weighting of spectral cues for implant recipients.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant R01 DC000633, awarded to Susan Nittrouer. We thank Taylor Wucinich for help testing listeners and scoring.
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