Comparison of Psychophysiological and Dual-Task Measures of Listening Effort Purpose We wished to make a comparison of psychophysiological measures of listening effort with subjective and dual-task measures of listening effort for a diotic-dichotic-digits and a sentences-in-noise task. Method Three groups of young adults (18–38 years old) with normal hearing participated in three experiments: two psychophysiological studies for ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 2015
Comparison of Psychophysiological and Dual-Task Measures of Listening Effort
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Scott Seeman
    Illinois State University, Normal
  • Rebecca Sims
    Illinois State University, Normal
  • 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 Scott Seeman: sseeman@ilstu.edu
  • Editor: Nancy Tye-Murray
    Editor: Nancy Tye-Murray×
  • Associate Editor: Suzanne Purdy
    Associate Editor: Suzanne Purdy×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 2015
Comparison of Psychophysiological and Dual-Task Measures of Listening Effort
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2015, Vol. 58, 1781-1792. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-H-14-0180
History: Received July 2, 2014 , Revised November 12, 2014 , Accepted August 7, 2015
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2015, Vol. 58, 1781-1792. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-H-14-0180
History: Received July 2, 2014; Revised November 12, 2014; Accepted August 7, 2015
Web of Science® Times Cited: 5

Purpose We wished to make a comparison of psychophysiological measures of listening effort with subjective and dual-task measures of listening effort for a diotic-dichotic-digits and a sentences-in-noise task.

Method Three groups of young adults (18–38 years old) with normal hearing participated in three experiments: two psychophysiological studies for two different listening tasks and a dual-task measure for a sentences-in-noise task. Psychophysiological variables included skin conductance, heart-rate variability, and heart rate; the dual-task measure was a letter-identification task. Heart-rate variability was quantified with the difference from baseline for the normalized standard deviation of R to R.

Results Heart-rate variability differences from baseline were greater for increased task complexity and for poorer signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs). The dual-task measure of listening effort also increased for sentences presented at a +5 dB SNR compared with a +15 dB SNR. Skin conductance was elevated for greater task complexity only, and similar across noise conditions. None of these measures were significantly correlated with subjective measures of listening effort.

Conclusions Heart-rate variability appears to be a robust psychophysiological indicator of listening effort, sensitive to both task complexity and SNR. This sensitivity to SNR was similar to a dual-task measure of listening effort.

Acknowledgments
The authors would like to thank Leslie Townsend, Amanda Wand, and Kendra Theodosopoulos for their assistance in data collection and analysis.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access