The Effect of Dynamic Pitch on Speech Recognition in Temporally Modulated Noise Purpose This study investigated the effect of dynamic pitch in target speech on older and younger listeners' speech recognition in temporally modulated noise. First, we examined whether the benefit from dynamic-pitch cues depends on the temporal modulation of noise. Second, we tested whether older listeners can benefit from dynamic-pitch cues ... Research Article
Newly Published
Research Article  |   August 11, 2017
The Effect of Dynamic Pitch on Speech Recognition in Temporally Modulated Noise
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jing Shen
    Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
  • Pamela E. Souza
    Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
  • 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 Jing Shen: jing.shen@northwestern.edu
  • Editor: Julie Liss
    Editor: Julie Liss×
  • Associate Editor: Mitchell Sommers
    Associate Editor: Mitchell Sommers×
Article Information
Newly Published / Research Article
Research Article   |   August 11, 2017
The Effect of Dynamic Pitch on Speech Recognition in Temporally Modulated Noise
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-H-16-0389
History: Received October 6, 2016 , Revised January 29, 2017 , Accepted March 29, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-H-16-0389
History: Received October 6, 2016; Revised January 29, 2017; Accepted March 29, 2017

Purpose This study investigated the effect of dynamic pitch in target speech on older and younger listeners' speech recognition in temporally modulated noise. First, we examined whether the benefit from dynamic-pitch cues depends on the temporal modulation of noise. Second, we tested whether older listeners can benefit from dynamic-pitch cues for speech recognition in noise. Last, we explored the individual factors that predict the amount of dynamic-pitch benefit for speech recognition in noise.

Method Younger listeners with normal hearing and older listeners with varying levels of hearing sensitivity participated in the study, in which speech reception thresholds were measured with sentences in nonspeech noise.

Results The younger listeners benefited more from dynamic pitch for speech recognition in temporally modulated noise than unmodulated noise. Older listeners were able to benefit from the dynamic-pitch cues but received less benefit from noise modulation than the younger listeners. For those older listeners with hearing loss, the amount of hearing loss strongly predicted the dynamic-pitch benefit for speech recognition in noise.

Conclusions Dynamic-pitch cues aid speech recognition in noise, particularly when noise has temporal modulation. Hearing loss negatively affects the dynamic-pitch benefit to older listeners with significant hearing loss.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by National Institutes of Health Grants F32DC014629, awarded to Jing Shen, and R01DC12289, awarded to Pamela Souza. The authors thank Richard Wright for helpful suggestions on study design; Shannon Switzer, Arleen Li, Laura Mathews, and Paul Reinhart for assistance with data collection; and Tim Schoof for help with the experimental program and comments on the manuscript. A portion of the data was presented at the 43rd Annual Scientific and Technology Conference of the American Auditory Society, Scottsdale, AZ, and the 2016 Hearing Across the Lifespan conference, Cernobbio, Italy.
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