Effects of Repeated Listening Experiences on the Recognition of Synthetic Speech by Individuals With Severe Intellectual Disabilities

Koul, Rajinder; Hester, Kasey
February 2006
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Feb2006, Vol. 49 Issue 1, p47
Academic Journal
Purpose: To examine the perception of synthetic speech by individuals with severe intellectual disabilities using a closed-response format task. Method: Participants were 14 individuals with severe intellectual disabilities and a group of 14 typical individuals. A between-groups design was used to compare the performance of the 2 groups on word identification accuracy and word latency tasks. Data were analyzed using a repeated measures design. Results: The results indicated that the performance of a group of individuals with severe intellectual disabilities was significantly poorer (p < .05) than that of typical individuals on the word identification task. Data analyzed for practice effects indicated that individuals with severe intellectual disabilities demonstrated a significant reduction (p < .01) in their word latency scores across sessions. Furthermore, there was an absence of significant effect (p > .01) of stimulus type (i.e., repeated vs. novel), indicating that individuals with intellectual disabilities are able to generalize their knowledge of the acoustic-phonetic properties of synthetic speech to novel stimuli. Conclusions: This study indicates that persons with severe intellectual impairments become more proficient at recognizing synthetic speech as a result of repeated exposure to it. These results have significant clinical implications for people who use speech-generating devices.


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