The Effects of Static and Moving Spectral Ripple Sensitivity on Unaided and Aided Speech Perception in Noise Purpose This study evaluated whether certain spectral ripple conditions were more informative than others in predicting ecologically relevant unaided and aided speech outcomes. Method A quasi-experimental study design was used to evaluate 67 older adult hearing aid users with bilateral, symmetrical hearing loss. Speech perception in noise was ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 10, 2018
The Effects of Static and Moving Spectral Ripple Sensitivity on Unaided and Aided Speech Perception in Noise
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Christi W. Miller
    Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle
  • Joshua G. W. Bernstein
    National Military Audiology and Speech Pathology Center, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD
  • Xuyang Zhang
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Yu-Hsiang Wu
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Ruth A. Bentler
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Kelly Tremblay
    Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle
  • 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 Christi W. Miller: christim@uw.edu
  • Editor-in-Chief: Frederick (Erick) Gallun
    Editor-in-Chief: Frederick (Erick) Gallun×
  • Editor: Daniel Fogerty
    Editor: Daniel Fogerty×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 10, 2018
The Effects of Static and Moving Spectral Ripple Sensitivity on Unaided and Aided Speech Perception in Noise
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2018, Vol. 61, 3113-3126. doi:10.1044/2018_JSLHR-H-17-0373
History: Received October 2, 2017 , Revised June 6, 2018 , Accepted August 4, 2018
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2018, Vol. 61, 3113-3126. doi:10.1044/2018_JSLHR-H-17-0373
History: Received October 2, 2017; Revised June 6, 2018; Accepted August 4, 2018

Purpose This study evaluated whether certain spectral ripple conditions were more informative than others in predicting ecologically relevant unaided and aided speech outcomes.

Method A quasi-experimental study design was used to evaluate 67 older adult hearing aid users with bilateral, symmetrical hearing loss. Speech perception in noise was tested under conditions of unaided and aided, auditory-only and auditory–visual, and 2 types of noise. Predictors included age, audiometric thresholds, audibility, hearing aid compression, and modulation depth detection thresholds for moving (4-Hz) or static (0-Hz) 2-cycle/octave spectral ripples applied to carriers of broadband noise or 2000-Hz low- or high-pass filtered noise.

Results A principal component analysis of the modulation detection data found that broadband and low-pass static and moving ripple detection thresholds loaded onto the first factor whereas high-pass static and moving ripple detection thresholds loaded onto a second factor. A linear mixed model revealed that audibility and the first factor (reflecting broadband and low-pass static and moving ripples) were significantly associated with speech perception performance. Similar results were found for unaided and aided speech scores. The interactions between speech conditions were not significant, suggesting that the relationship between ripples and speech perception was consistent regardless of visual cues or noise condition. High-pass ripple sensitivity was not correlated with speech understanding.

Conclusions The results suggest that, for hearing aid users, poor speech understanding in noise and sensitivity to both static and slow-moving ripples may reflect deficits in the same underlying auditory processing mechanism. Significant factor loadings involving ripple stimuli with low-frequency content may suggest an impaired ability to use temporal fine structure information in the stimulus waveform. Support is provided for the use of spectral ripple testing to predict speech perception outcomes in clinical settings.

Acknowledgments
We thank our funding sources for making this work possible: the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation (C. M.), NIH NIDCD R21 DC016380-01 (C. M.), NIH NIDCD R01 DC012769-04 (K. T. and R. B.), NIH NIDCD P30 DC004661 (Edwin Rubel), and NIH NCATS U54 TR001356 (Gary Rosenthal). We would like to thank the community practitioners for advertising our study and the participants for their time. We also thank Elizabeth Stangl, Claire Jordan, and Gina Hone for collecting data and Elisabeth Went for data analysis assistance. The identification of specific products or scientific instrumentation does not constitute endorsement or implied endorsement on the part of the authors, Department of Defense, or any component agency. The views expressed in this presentation are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy of the Department of Army/Navy/Air Force, Department of Defense, or U.S. Government.
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