Perceptual Weighting of Stop Consonant Cues by Normal and Impaired Listeners in Reverberation Versus Noise

Hedrick, Mark S.; Younger, Mary Sue
April 2007
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Apr2007, Vol. 50 Issue 2, p254
Academic Journal
Purpose: To determine if listeners with normal hearing and listeners with sensorineural hearing loss give different perceptual weightings to cues for stop consonant place of articulation in noise versus reverberation listening conditions. Method: Nine listeners with normal hearing (23-28 years of age) and 10 listeners with sensorineural hearing loss (31-79 years of age, median 66 years) participated. The listeners were asked to label the consonantal portion of synthetic CV stimuli as either /p/ or /t/. Two cues were varied: (a) the amplitude of the spectral peak in the F4/F5 frequency region of the burst was varied across a 30-dB range relative to the adjacent vowel peak amplitude in the same frequency region, (b) F2/F3 formant transition onset frequencies were either appropriate for /p/, /t/ or neutral for the labial/alveolar contrast. Results: Weightings of relative amplitude and transition cues for voiceless stop consonants depended on the listening condition (quiet, noise, or reverberation), hearing loss, and age of listener. The effects of age with hearing loss reduced the perceptual integration of cues, particularly in reverberation. The effects of hearing loss reduced the effectiveness of both cues, notably relative amplitude in reverberation. Conclusions: Reverberation and noise conditions have different perceptual effects. Hearing loss and age may have different, separable effects.


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