Auditory Training With Multiple Talkers and Passage-Based Semantic Cohesion Purpose Current auditory training methods typically result in improvements to speech recognition abilities in quiet, but learner gains may not extend to other domains in speech (e.g., recognition in noise) or self-assessed benefit. This study examined the potential of training involving multiple talkers and training emphasizing discourse-level top-down processing to ... Research Article
Research Article  |   January 01, 2017
Auditory Training With Multiple Talkers and Passage-Based Semantic Cohesion
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Elizabeth D. Casserly
    Department of Psychology, Trinity College, Hartford, CT
  • Erin C. Barney
    Department of Psychology, Trinity College, Hartford, CT
  • 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 Elizabeth D. Casserly: elizabeth.casserly@trincoll.edu
  • Editor: Nancy Tye-Murray
    Editor: Nancy Tye-Murray×
  • Associate Editor: Kathleen Cienkowski
    Associate Editor: Kathleen Cienkowski×
Article Information
Audiologic / Aural Rehabilitation / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   January 01, 2017
Auditory Training With Multiple Talkers and Passage-Based Semantic Cohesion
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, January 2017, Vol. 60, 159-171. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-H-15-0357
History: Received October 13, 2015 , Revised April 13, 2016 , Accepted June 13, 2016
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, January 2017, Vol. 60, 159-171. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-H-15-0357
History: Received October 13, 2015; Revised April 13, 2016; Accepted June 13, 2016

Purpose Current auditory training methods typically result in improvements to speech recognition abilities in quiet, but learner gains may not extend to other domains in speech (e.g., recognition in noise) or self-assessed benefit. This study examined the potential of training involving multiple talkers and training emphasizing discourse-level top-down processing to produce more generalized learning.

Method Normal-hearing participants (N = 64) were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 auditory training protocols using noise-vocoded speech simulating the processing of an 8-channel cochlear implant: sentence-based single-talker training, training with 24 different talkers, passage-based transcription training, and a control (transcribing unvocoded sentence materials). In all cases, participants completed 2 pretests under cochlear implant simulation, 1 hr of training, and 5 posttests to assess perceptual learning and cross-context generalization.

Results Performance above the control was seen in all 3 experimental groups for sentence recognition in quiet. In addition, the multitalker training method generalized to a context word-recognition task, and the passage training method caused gains in sentence recognition in noise.

Conclusion The gains of the multitalker and passage training groups over the control suggest that, with relatively small modifications, improvements to the generalized outcomes of auditory training protocols may be possible.

Acknowledgments
We would like to thank Ted Ballenger for aid in data collection, Trinity College for internal support in conducting this research, and David B. Pisoni at Indiana University for initially highlighting the importance of auditory training for basic and clinical science alike.
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