The Downside of Greater Lexical Influences: Selectively Poorer Speech Perception in Noise Purpose Although lexical information influences phoneme perception, the extent to which reliance on lexical information enhances speech processing in challenging listening environments is unclear. We examined the extent to which individual differences in lexical influences on phonemic processing impact speech processing in maskers containing varying degrees of linguistic information (2-talker ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 10, 2017
The Downside of Greater Lexical Influences: Selectively Poorer Speech Perception in Noise
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Boji P. W. Lam
    Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, Moody College of Communication, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Zilong Xie
    Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, Moody College of Communication, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Rachel Tessmer
    Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, Moody College of Communication, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Bharath Chandrasekaran
    Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, Moody College of Communication, The University of Texas at Austin
    Department of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts, The University of Texas at Austin
    Institute for Mental Health Research, College of Liberal Arts, The University of Texas at Austin
    Department of Linguistics, College of Liberal Arts, The University of Texas at Austin
    Institute for Neuroscience, The University of Texas at Austin
  • 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 Boji P. W. Lam: bojilam0705@gmail.com
  • Editor: Nancy Tye-Murray
    Editor: Nancy Tye-Murray×
  • Associate Editor: Mitchell Sommers
    Associate Editor: Mitchell Sommers×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing / Research Article
Research Article   |   June 10, 2017
The Downside of Greater Lexical Influences: Selectively Poorer Speech Perception in Noise
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2017, Vol. 60, 1662-1673. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-H-16-0133
History: Received April 2, 2016 , Revised September 15, 2016 , Accepted December 15, 2016
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2017, Vol. 60, 1662-1673. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-H-16-0133
History: Received April 2, 2016; Revised September 15, 2016; Accepted December 15, 2016

Purpose Although lexical information influences phoneme perception, the extent to which reliance on lexical information enhances speech processing in challenging listening environments is unclear. We examined the extent to which individual differences in lexical influences on phonemic processing impact speech processing in maskers containing varying degrees of linguistic information (2-talker babble or pink noise).

Method Twenty-nine monolingual English speakers were instructed to ignore the lexical status of spoken syllables (e.g., gift vs. kift) and to only categorize the initial phonemes (/g/ vs. /k/). The same participants then performed speech recognition tasks in the presence of 2-talker babble or pink noise in audio-only and audiovisual conditions.

Results Individuals who demonstrated greater lexical influences on phonemic processing experienced greater speech processing difficulties in 2-talker babble than in pink noise. These selective difficulties were present across audio-only and audiovisual conditions.

Conclusion Individuals with greater reliance on lexical processes during speech perception exhibit impaired speech recognition in listening conditions in which competing talkers introduce audible linguistic interferences. Future studies should examine the locus of lexical influences/interferences on phonemic processing and speech-in-speech processing.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (Grant R01 DC-013315 to B. Chandrasekaran). We thank Kristin J. Van Engen, Kirsten Smayda, Han-Gyol Yi, and Jasmine E. B. Phelps for their invaluable assistance in stimulus preparation, data management, and data analysis. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access