The Effect of Background Noise on Intelligibility of Dysphonic Speech Purpose The aim of this study is to determine the effect of background noise on the intelligibility of dysphonic speech and to examine the relationship between intelligibility in noise and an acoustic measure of dysphonia: cepstral peak prominence (CPP). Method A study of speech perception was conducted using ... Research Note
Research Note  |   July 12, 2017
The Effect of Background Noise on Intelligibility of Dysphonic Speech
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Keiko Ishikawa
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Cincinnati, OH
  • Suzanne Boyce
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Cincinnati, OH
  • Lisa Kelchner
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Cincinnati, OH
  • Maria Golla Powell
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Cincinnati, OH
  • Heidi Schieve
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Cincinnati, OH
  • Alessandro de Alarcon
    Department of Otolaryngology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, OH
  • Sid Khosla
    Department of Otolaryngology, University of Cincinnati, OH
  • 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 Keiko Ishikawa: ishikak@mail.uc.edu
  • Editor: Julie Liss
    Editor: Julie Liss×
  • Associate Editor: Bharath Chandrasekaran
    Associate Editor: Bharath Chandrasekaran×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Voice Disorders / Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Speech / Research Notes
Research Note   |   July 12, 2017
The Effect of Background Noise on Intelligibility of Dysphonic Speech
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, July 2017, Vol. 60, 1919-1929. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-S-16-0012
History: Received January 10, 2016 , Revised July 19, 2016 , Accepted January 20, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, July 2017, Vol. 60, 1919-1929. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-S-16-0012
History: Received January 10, 2016; Revised July 19, 2016; Accepted January 20, 2017

Purpose The aim of this study is to determine the effect of background noise on the intelligibility of dysphonic speech and to examine the relationship between intelligibility in noise and an acoustic measure of dysphonia: cepstral peak prominence (CPP).

Method A study of speech perception was conducted using speech samples from 6 adult speakers with typical voice and 6 adult speakers with dysphonia. Speech samples were presented to 30 listeners with typical hearing in 3 noise conditions: quiet, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR)+5, and SNR+0. Intelligibility scores were obtained via orthographic transcription as the percentage of correctly identified words. Speech samples were acoustically analyzed using CPP, and the correlation between the CPP measurements and intelligibility scores was examined.

Results The intelligibility of both typical and dysphonic speech was reduced as the level of background noise increased. The reduction was significantly greater in dysphonic speech. A strong correlation was noted between CPP and intelligibility score at SNR+0.

Conclusions Dysphonic speech is relatively harder to understand in the presence of background noise as compared with typical speech. CPP may be a useful predictor of this intelligibility deficit. Future work is needed to confirm these findings with a larger number of speakers and speech materials with known predictability.

Acknowledgments
The authors would like to thank Joel MacAuslan at STAR Analytical Services for sharing the noise generation software, Sarah Hamilton for her technical assistance, and Lindsey Adams, Elizabeth Hary, Jenna LeFevre, Lindsay Mullins, and Meredith Meyer for proofreading this work.
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