Dichotic Word Recognition of Young Adults in Adverse Listening Conditions
Keywords:Dichotic Word Recognition
right ear advantage
simulated hearing loss
sensorineural hearing loss
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Speech and Hearing Science Honors Theses; 2009
The purpose of the present study was to measure dichotic word recognition performance in both noise and with simulated hearing loss in young adults with normal hearing to better compare performance to that of older adults with sensorineural hearing loss. Ten right-handed young adults with normal hearing participated. Dichotic word recognition was measured in three conditions: (1) in quiet, (2) in a background of speech spectrum noise, and (3) with simulated hearing loss (Moore & Glasberg, 1993). A free-recall response paradigm was used for each condition in which listeners were required to repeat both dichotic stimuli regardless of order. As expected, results revealed significant decreases in overall recognition performance in the noise and simulated hearing loss conditions relative to the quiet condition. Despite the decreases in overall recognition performance, the right ear advantages (differences between ear performance) were not significantly different across listening conditions (i.e., they remained relatively small). The young adult REA data was also compared to the older adult data from Roup et al. (2006). Results revealed that the older adults exhibited a significantly larger REA compared to the young adults, despite similar levels of overall recognition performance. These results support the proposed hypothesis that the large REAs exhibited by older adults reflect declines in auditory processing rather than their hearing loss. Declines in auditory processing among older adults have been associated with difficulty with the use of bilateral hearing aids. If the REA is due to declines in auditory processing, it may be more beneficial to fit those patients with one hearing aid rather than two.
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