Head Angle and Elevation in Classroom Environments: Implications for Amplification

Ricketts, Todd Andrew; Galster, Jason
April 2008
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Apr2008, Vol. 51 Issue 2, p516
Academic Journal
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine children's head orientation relative to the arrival angle of competing signals and the sound source of interest in actual school settings. These data were gathered to provide information relative to the potential for directional benefit. Method: Forty children, 4-17 years of age, with and without hearing loss, completed the study. Deviation in head angle and elevation relative to the direction of sound sources of interest were measured in 40 school environments. Measurements were made on the basis of physical data and videotapes from 3 cameras placed within each classroom. Results: The results revealed similarly accurate head orientation across children with and without hearing loss when focusing on the 33% proportion of time in which children were most accurate. Orientation accuracy was not affected by age. The data also revealed that children with hearing loss were significantly more likely to orient toward brief utterances made by secondary talkers than were children with normal hearing. Conclusions: These data are consistent with the hypothesized association between hearing loss and increased visual monitoring. In addition, these results suggest that age does not limit the potential for signal-to-noise improvements from directivity-based interventions in noisy environments.


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