Generalized Adaptation to Dysarthric Speech Purpose Generalization of perceptual learning has received limited attention in listener adaptation studies with dysarthric speech. This study investigated whether adaptation to a talker with dysarthria could be predicted by the nature of the listener's prior familiarization experience, specifically similarity of perceptual features, and level of intelligibility. Method ... Research Article
Research Article  |   November 09, 2017
Generalized Adaptation to Dysarthric Speech
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Stephanie A. Borrie
    Department of Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education, Utah State University, Logan
  • Kaitlin L. Lansford
    School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Florida State University, Tallahassee
  • Tyson S. Barrett
    Department of Psychology, Utah State University, Logan
  • 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 Stephanie A. Borrie: stephanie.borrie@usu.edu
  • Editor-in-Chief: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor-in-Chief: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Editor: Jeannette Hoit
    Editor: Jeannette Hoit×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Dysarthria / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   November 09, 2017
Generalized Adaptation to Dysarthric Speech
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, November 2017, Vol. 60, 3110-3117. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-S-17-0127
History: Received April 9, 2017 , Revised May 30, 2017 , Accepted June 2, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, November 2017, Vol. 60, 3110-3117. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-S-17-0127
History: Received April 9, 2017; Revised May 30, 2017; Accepted June 2, 2017

Purpose Generalization of perceptual learning has received limited attention in listener adaptation studies with dysarthric speech. This study investigated whether adaptation to a talker with dysarthria could be predicted by the nature of the listener's prior familiarization experience, specifically similarity of perceptual features, and level of intelligibility.

Method Following an intelligibility pretest involving a talker with ataxic dysarthria, 160 listeners were familiarized with 1 of 7 talkers with dysarthria—who differed from the test talker in terms of perceptual similarity (same, similar, dissimilar) and level of intelligibility (low, mid, high)—or a talker with no neurological impairment (control). Listeners then completed an intelligibility posttest on the test talker.

Results All listeners benefited from familiarization with a talker with dysarthria; however, adaptation to the test talker was superior when the familiarization talker had similar perceptual features and reduced when the familiarization talker had low intelligibility.

Conclusion Evidence for both generalization and specificity of learning highlights the differential value of listeners' prior experiences for adaptation to, and improved understanding of, a talker with dysarthria. These findings broaden our theoretical knowledge of adaptation to degraded speech, as well as the clinical application of training paradigms that exploit perceptual processes for therapeutic gain.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, National Institutes of Health Grant R21 DC 016084, awarded to Stephanie A. Borrie. We gratefully acknowledge Paul Vicioso Osoria and Danielle Fawcett, research assistants in the Human Interaction Lab at Utah State University, for the development of the web-based application and the coding of listener transcripts, respectively. We also extend our gratitude to Julie Liss at Arizona State University for the continued use of her extensive speech sample database.
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