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Effects of age and working memory capacity on understanding speech in conversational noise
Julie Beadle, Christopher Davis...
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Effects of age and working memory in understanding speech in conversational noise - HEARing CRC PhD presentation

Research Question: Do age and working memory capacity affect performance on a naturalistic test of speech perception in noise?

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Effects of age and working memory in understanding speech in conversational noise - HEARing CRC PhD presentation

  1. 1. Effects of age and working memory capacity on understanding speech in conversational noise Julie Beadle, Christopher Davis, Jeesun Kim The MARCS Institute, Western Sydney University Background • Adults 40+ with good audiograms report difficulties understanding speech in background noise5. • Differences in Working Memory Capacity (WMC) are associated with the ability to understand speech in noise (SiN) among listeners with hearing impairment. However, with normal hearing listeners, the relationship is unclear3. • SiN tests used to evaluate the relationship between WMC and SiN understanding do not reflect real life communication, thus, previous research may have underestimated the effect of WMC1. General Procedure • Individuals with normal hearing (i.e., pure-tone thresholds of 25 dB HL or better at octave frequencies from 0.25 to 4 kHz in both ears and at 6 kHz in at least one ear) are assigned to 1 of 6 groups based on their age and WMC4. creating sound value www.hearingcrc.org Research Question Do age and working memory capacity affect performance on a naturalistic test of speech perception in noise? Experiments The same general procedure will be used to evaluate: a) If age and working memory capacity affect performance on a naturalistic SiN test a) If WMC is more important for performance on a naturalistic SiN test compared to a traditional SiN test b) If access to visual speech changes how WMC and age effect performance on a naturalistic SiN test References 1. Best, V., Keidser, G., Freeston, K., & Buchholz, J. M. (2016). A Dynamic Speech Comprehension Test for Assessing Real-World Listening Ability. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 27(7), 515-526. 2. Best, V., Roverud, E., Streeter, T., Mason, C. M., Kidd, Jr. G., (2016. August). Evaluation of a visually guided hearing aid using a dynamic question/answer task. Poster presented at the International Hearing Aid Research Conference, Tahoe City, California. 3. Füllgrabe, C., & Rosen, S. (2016). On the (un) importance of working memory in speech-in-noise processing for listeners with normal hearing thresholds. Frontiers in Psychology, 7. 4. Gordon-Salant, S., & Cole, S. S. (2016). Effects of Age and Working Memory Capacity on Speech Recognition Performance in Noise Among Listeners With Normal Hearing. Ear and hearing. 5. Moore, D. R., Edmondson-Jones, M., Dawes, P., Fortnum, H., McCormack, A., Pierzycki, R. H., & Munro, K. J. (2014). Relation between speech-in-noise threshold, hearing loss and cognition from 40–69 years of age. PloS one, 9(9), e107720. Research supported by the HEARing CRC and the MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development. WMC (i.e., LSPAN score) Age Young (18-25) Old (60+)Middle-Aged (40-55) Low (1-4) High (5-8) High (5-8) High (5-8)Low (1-4) Low (1-4) Question/Answer Task Procedure: • Listeners are presented with a question- answer pair; answers are correct or incorrect. • Listeners must verbally indicate if the answer is correct or not. Signal: • Questions and answers are dynamically presented at +15° and -15° azimuth (i.e., If a question comes from +15° then the answer comes from -15° and vice versa). • Q and A voice gender varies across trials. • Presented at 65dB SPL. Noise: Conversational Babble • Conversations from 3 male-female talker pairs. • Both sides of each conversation (i.e., male and female) presented simultaneously from 6 loudspeakers located to the side and behind the listener (C1,C2,C3; see example trial). • Silence within conversations will be removed to ensure consistent SNRs. Example Trial Which is bigger, an elephant or a mouse? I think a mouse is the correct option. Q A The answer is correct. C1 C1 C3 C3 C2 C2 Category Question Correct Answer* Incorrect Answer* Days What day comes after Monday? Tuesday Friday Months What month comes before April? March October Colours What colour is the sky? Blue Green Opposites What is the opposite of up? Down Inside Sizes Which is bigger, an elephant or a mouse? Elephant Mouse Numbers What is two plus two? Four Three Question/Answer Examples * Answers will be presented as part of a natural response (see example trial). Useful features of this task: • Requires speech understanding, not verbatim recall • Realistic variations in talker voice and location • Eyes free response format facilitates the addition of visual speech Traditional SiN Tests Real Life Communication in Noise Listen to a syllable, word, or sentence presented in noise Report verbatim what was heard Often only auditory stimuli Listen to one person or multiple people speak in noise Extract meaning from speech and produce a valid, verbal response Auditory and visual stimuli Are traditional SiN tests as cognitively demanding as trying to understand speech in noise in real life? Impact • Results will inform the development of new assessment and remediation techniques for clinical practice that better capture the role of cognition in speech understanding. j.beadle@westernsydney.edu.au • All participants complete a dynamic Question/Answer task2. Noise level adjusted to compare 3 SNRs: -6, -8, & -10 dB.

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Research Question: Do age and working memory capacity affect performance on a naturalistic test of speech perception in noise?

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