The Effects of Directional Processing on Objective and Subjective Listening Effort Purpose The purposes of this investigation were (a) to evaluate the effects of hearing aid directional processing on subjective and objective listening effort and (b) to investigate the potential relationships between subjective and objective measures of effort. Method Sixteen adults with mild to severe hearing loss were tested ... Research Article
Research Article  |   January 01, 2017
The Effects of Directional Processing on Objective and Subjective Listening Effort
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Erin M. Picou
    Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN
  • Travis M. Moore
    Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN
  • Todd A. Ricketts
    Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN
  • 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 Erin M. Picou: erin.picou@vanderbilt.edu
  • Editor: Nancy Tye-Murray
    Editor: Nancy Tye-Murray×
  • Associate Editor: Suzanne Purdy
    Associate Editor: Suzanne Purdy×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   January 01, 2017
The Effects of Directional Processing on Objective and Subjective Listening Effort
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, January 2017, Vol. 60, 199-211. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-H-15-0416
History: Received December 1, 2015 , Revised February 24, 2016 , Accepted June 20, 2016
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, January 2017, Vol. 60, 199-211. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-H-15-0416
History: Received December 1, 2015; Revised February 24, 2016; Accepted June 20, 2016

Purpose The purposes of this investigation were (a) to evaluate the effects of hearing aid directional processing on subjective and objective listening effort and (b) to investigate the potential relationships between subjective and objective measures of effort.

Method Sixteen adults with mild to severe hearing loss were tested with study hearing aids programmed with 3 settings: omnidirectional, fixed directional, and bilateral beamformer. A dual-task paradigm and subjective ratings were used to assess objective and subjective listening effort, respectively, in 2 signal-to-noise ratios. Testing occurred in rooms with either low or moderate reverberation.

Results Directional processing improved subjective and objective listening effort, although benefit for objective effort was found only in moderate reverberation. Subjective reports of work and tiredness were more highly correlated with word recognition performance than objective listening effort. However, subjective ratings about control were significantly correlated with objective listening effort.

Conclusions Directional microphone technology in hearing aids has the potential to improve listening effort in moderately reverberant environments. In addition, subjective questions that probe a listener's desire to exercise control may be a viable method for eliciting ratings that are significantly related to objective listening effort.

Acknowledgments
Support for this project was provided by Phonak AG and the Dan and Catherine Maddox Charitable Trust. We thank Miriam Glicksberg, Laura Fels, and Kristen D'Onofrio for their efforts in recruiting participants and collecting data. Portions of this project were presented at AudiologyNOW! 2015 (San Antonio, TX) in March 2015.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access