Auditory Training With Frequent Communication Partners Purpose Individuals with hearing loss engage in auditory training to improve their speech recognition. They typically practice listening to utterances spoken by unfamiliar talkers but never to utterances spoken by their most frequent communication partner (FCP)—speech they most likely desire to recognize—under the assumption that familiarity with the FCP's speech ... Research Forum
Research Forum  |   August 01, 2016
Auditory Training With Frequent Communication Partners
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Nancy Tye-Murray
    Washington University in St. Louis, MO
  • Brent Spehar
    Washington University in St. Louis, MO
  • Mitchell Sommers
    Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, MO
  • Joe Barcroft
    Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, MO
  • 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 Nancy Tye-Murray: murrayn@wustl.edu
  • Editor: Rhea Paul
    Editor: Rhea Paul×
  • Associate Editor: Richard Dowell
    Associate Editor: Richard Dowell×
Article Information
Audiologic / Aural Rehabilitation / Research Forum: New Directions for Auditory Training
Research Forum   |   August 01, 2016
Auditory Training With Frequent Communication Partners
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2016, Vol. 59, 871-875. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-H-15-0171
History: Received May 15, 2015 , Revised September 16, 2015 , Accepted November 25, 2015
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2016, Vol. 59, 871-875. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-H-15-0171
History: Received May 15, 2015; Revised September 16, 2015; Accepted November 25, 2015

Purpose Individuals with hearing loss engage in auditory training to improve their speech recognition. They typically practice listening to utterances spoken by unfamiliar talkers but never to utterances spoken by their most frequent communication partner (FCP)—speech they most likely desire to recognize—under the assumption that familiarity with the FCP's speech limits potential gains. This study determined whether auditory training with the speech of an individual's FCP, in this case their spouse, would lead to enhanced recognition of their spouse's speech.

Method Ten couples completed a 6-week computerized auditory training program in which the spouse recorded the stimuli and the participant (partner with hearing loss) completed auditory training that presented recordings of their spouse.

Results Training led participants to better discriminate their FCP's speech. Responses on the Client Oriented Scale of Improvement (Dillon, James, & Ginis, 1997) indicated subjectively that training reduced participants' communication difficulties. Peformance on a word identification task did not change.

Conclusions Results suggest that auditory training might improve the ability of older participants with hearing loss to recognize the speech of their spouse and might improve communication interactions between couples. The results support a task-appropriate processing framework of learning, which assumes that human learning depends on the degree of similarity between training tasks and desired outcomes.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by National Institutes of Health Grant RO1DC008964. We thank Elizabeth Mauzé and Shannon Sides for their contributions in data collection.
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