Seeing the Talker's Face Improves Free Recall of Speech for Young Adults With Normal Hearing but Not Older Adults With Hearing Loss Purpose Seeing the talker's face improves speech understanding in noise, possibly releasing resources for cognitive processing. We investigated whether it improves free recall of spoken two-digit numbers. Method Twenty younger adults with normal hearing and 24 older adults with hearing loss listened to and subsequently recalled lists of ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 2016
Seeing the Talker's Face Improves Free Recall of Speech for Young Adults With Normal Hearing but Not Older Adults With Hearing Loss
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Mary Rudner
    Linnaeus Centre HEAD, Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Linköping University Sweden
  • Sushmit Mishra
    Linnaeus Centre HEAD, Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Linköping University Sweden
  • Stefan Stenfelt
    Linnaeus Centre HEAD, Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Linköping University Sweden
    Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Linköping University, Sweden
  • Thomas Lunner
    Linnaeus Centre HEAD, Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Linköping University Sweden
    Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Linköping University, Sweden
    Eriksholm Research Centre, Oticon A/S, Snekkersten, Denmark
  • Jerker Rönnberg
    Linnaeus Centre HEAD, Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Linköping University Sweden
  • 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: Mary Rudner: mary.rudner@liu.se
  • Editor: Nancy Tye-Murray
    Editor: Nancy Tye-Murray×
  • Associate Editor: Mitchell Sommers
    Associate Editor: Mitchell Sommers×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing Disorders / Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 2016
Seeing the Talker's Face Improves Free Recall of Speech for Young Adults With Normal Hearing but Not Older Adults With Hearing Loss
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2016, Vol. 59, 590-599. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-H-15-0014
History: Received January 14, 2015 , Revised May 28, 2015 , Accepted November 18, 2015
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2016, Vol. 59, 590-599. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-H-15-0014
History: Received January 14, 2015; Revised May 28, 2015; Accepted November 18, 2015

Purpose Seeing the talker's face improves speech understanding in noise, possibly releasing resources for cognitive processing. We investigated whether it improves free recall of spoken two-digit numbers.

Method Twenty younger adults with normal hearing and 24 older adults with hearing loss listened to and subsequently recalled lists of 13 two-digit numbers, with alternating male and female talkers. Lists were presented in quiet as well as in stationary and speech-like noise at a signal-to-noise ratio giving approximately 90% intelligibility. Amplification compensated for loss of audibility.

Results Seeing the talker's face improved free recall performance for the younger but not the older group. Poorer performance in background noise was contingent on individual differences in working memory capacity. The effect of seeing the talker's face did not differ in quiet and noise.

Conclusions We have argued that the absence of an effect of seeing the talker's face for older adults with hearing loss may be due to modulation of audiovisual integration mechanisms caused by an interaction between task demands and participant characteristics. In particular, we suggest that executive task demands and interindividual executive skills may play a key role in determining the benefit of seeing the talker's face during a speech-based cognitive task.

Acknowledgment
This research was supported by Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research Grant 2007-0788 awarded to Mary Rudner.
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