Reading Behind the Lines: The Factors Affecting the Text Reception Threshold in Hearing Aid Users Purpose The visual Text Reception Threshold (TRT) test (Zekveld et al., 2007) has been designed to assess modality-general factors relevant for speech perception in noise. In the last decade, the test has been adopted in audiology labs worldwide. The 1st aim of this study was to examine which factors best ... Research Article
Newly Published
Research Article  |   February 13, 2018
Reading Behind the Lines: The Factors Affecting the Text Reception Threshold in Hearing Aid Users
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Adriana A. Zekveld
    Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Linköping University, Sweden
    Linnaeus Centre HEAD, Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Linköping, Sweden
    Section Ear & Hearing, Department of Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, VU University Medical Center, the Netherlands
  • Marieke Pronk
    Section Ear & Hearing, Department of Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, VU University Medical Center, the Netherlands
  • Henrik Danielsson
    Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Linköping University, Sweden
    Linnaeus Centre HEAD, Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Linköping, Sweden
  • Jerker Rönnberg
    Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Linköping University, Sweden
    Linnaeus Centre HEAD, Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Linköping, Sweden
  • 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 Adriana A. Zekveld: aa.zekveld@vumc.nl
  • Editor-in-Chief: Frederick (Erick) Gallun
    Editor-in-Chief: Frederick (Erick) Gallun×
  • Editor: Daniel Fogerty
    Editor: Daniel Fogerty×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Newly Published / Research Article
Research Article   |   February 13, 2018
Reading Behind the Lines: The Factors Affecting the Text Reception Threshold in Hearing Aid Users
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-H-17-0196
History: Received May 23, 2017 , Revised October 4, 2017 , Accepted October 12, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, Newly Published. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-H-17-0196
History: Received May 23, 2017; Revised October 4, 2017; Accepted October 12, 2017

Purpose The visual Text Reception Threshold (TRT) test (Zekveld et al., 2007) has been designed to assess modality-general factors relevant for speech perception in noise. In the last decade, the test has been adopted in audiology labs worldwide. The 1st aim of this study was to examine which factors best predict interindividual differences in the TRT. Second, we aimed to assess the relationships between the TRT and the speech reception thresholds (SRTs) estimated in various conditions.

Method First, we reviewed studies reporting relationships between the TRT and the auditory and/or cognitive factors and formulated specific hypotheses regarding the TRT predictors. These hypotheses were tested using a prediction model applied to a rich data set of 180 hearing aid users. In separate association models, we tested the relationships between the TRT and the various SRTs and subjective hearing difficulties, while taking into account potential confounding variables.

Results The results of the prediction model indicate that the TRT is predicted by the ability to fill in missing words in incomplete sentences, by lexical access speed, and by working memory capacity. Furthermore, in line with previous studies, a moderate association between higher age, poorer pure-tone hearing acuity, and poorer TRTs was observed. Better TRTs were associated with better SRTs for the correct perception of 50% of Hagerman matrix sentences in a 4-talker babble, as well as with better subjective ratings of speech perception. Age and pure-tone hearing thresholds significantly confounded these associations. The associations of the TRT with SRTs estimated in other conditions and with subjective qualities of hearing were not statistically significant when adjusting for age and pure-tone average.

Conclusions We conclude that the abilities tapped into by the TRT test include processes relevant for speeded lexical decision making when completing partly masked sentences and that these processes require working memory capacity. Furthermore, the TRT is associated with the SRT of hearing aid users as estimated in a challenging condition that includes informational masking and with experienced difficulties with speech perception in daily-life conditions. The current results underline the value of using the TRT test in studies involving speech perception and aid in the interpretation of findings acquired using the test.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by a Linnaeus Centre HEAD excellence center Grant 349-2007-8654 from the Swedish Research Council and by a program grant from FORTE (Grant 2012-1693), awarded to Jerker Rönnberg.
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