Correction of the Peripheral Spatiotemporal Response Pattern: A Potential New Signal-Processing Strategy

Lu-Feng Shi; Carney, Laurel H.; Doherty, Karen A.
August 2006
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Aug2006, Vol. 49 Issue 4, p848
Academic Journal
The purpose of this paper is to introduce a new signal-processing strategy, spatiotemporal pattern correction (SPC), that is based on our knowledge of the level-dependent temporal response properties of auditory nerve fibers in normal and impaired ears. In normal-hearing listeners, tuning is sharp for low-level inputs and broadens as input level increases. When peripheral filters change their shape with input level, the phase properties of the filters and the latency of the filter's response also change. However, in listeners with hearing loss, tuning is broad for both low- and high-level inputs. Thus, there is little change in the phase properties of the filters for different input levels. The SPC strategy manipulates the temporal aspects of different frequency channels of sounds in an attempt to "correct" for this abnormal spatiotemporal response pattern of the impaired ear. Quality judgments and intelligibility measures of speech processed at various SPC strengths were obtained from a small group of normal-hearing listeners and listeners with hearing loss. In general, listeners with hearing loss preferred sentences with some degree of SPC processing, whereas normal-hearing listeners preferred unprocessed sentences. Benefit from SPC on the nonsense syllable test varied greatly across phonemes and listeners. A more comprehensive study of listeners with different degrees and configurations of hearing loss is needed to determine the amount of SPC benefit.


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