Auditory Training for Adults Who Have Hearing Loss: A Comparison of Spaced Versus Massed Practice Schedules Purpose The spacing effect in human memory research refers to situations in which people learn items better when they study items in spaced intervals rather than massed intervals. This investigation was conducted to compare the efficacy of meaning-oriented auditory training when administered with a spaced versus massed practice schedule. ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 18, 2017
Auditory Training for Adults Who Have Hearing Loss: A Comparison of Spaced Versus Massed Practice Schedules
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Nancy Tye-Murray
    Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
  • Brent Spehar
    Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
  • Joe Barcroft
    Washington University, St. Louis, MO
  • Mitchell Sommers
    Washington University, St. Louis, 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@ent.wustl.edu
  • Editor: Sumitrajit Dhar
    Editor: Sumitrajit Dhar×
  • Associate Editor: Richard Dowell
    Associate Editor: Richard Dowell×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Audiologic / Aural Rehabilitation / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 18, 2017
Auditory Training for Adults Who Have Hearing Loss: A Comparison of Spaced Versus Massed Practice Schedules
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2017, Vol. 60, 2337-2345. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-H-16-0154
History: Received April 14, 2016 , Revised October 21, 2016 , Accepted February 27, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2017, Vol. 60, 2337-2345. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-H-16-0154
History: Received April 14, 2016; Revised October 21, 2016; Accepted February 27, 2017

Purpose The spacing effect in human memory research refers to situations in which people learn items better when they study items in spaced intervals rather than massed intervals. This investigation was conducted to compare the efficacy of meaning-oriented auditory training when administered with a spaced versus massed practice schedule.

Method Forty-seven adult hearing aid users received 16 hr of auditory training. Participants in a spaced group (mean age = 64.6 years, SD = 14.7) trained twice per week, and participants in a massed group (mean age = 69.6 years, SD = 17.5) trained for 5 consecutive days each week. Participants completed speech perception tests before training, immediately following training, and then 3 months later. In line with transfer appropriate processing theory, tests assessed both trained tasks and an untrained task.

Results Auditory training improved the speech recognition performance of participants in both groups. Benefits were maintained for 3 months. No effect of practice schedule was found on overall benefits achieved, on retention of benefits, nor on generalizability of benefits to nontrained tasks.

Conclusion The lack of spacing effect in otherwise effective auditory training suggests that perceptual learning may be subject to different influences than are other types of learning, such as vocabulary learning. Hence, clinicians might have latitude in recommending training schedules to accommodate patients' schedules.

Acknowledgments
The first two authors are cofounders of clEAR, a limited liability corporation that sells auditory training material to be provided as clinical intervention for hearing loss. We thank Elizabeth Mauzé and Shannon Sides for their contributions in data collection. Research reported in this publication was supported by NIDCD of the National Institutes of Health under award number RO1DC008964 awarded to Nancy Tye-Murray.
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