Modulation Detection Interference in Listeners With Normal and Impaired Hearing

Bacon, Sid P.; Opie, Jane M.
April 2002
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Apr2002, Vol. 45 Issue 2, p392
Academic Journal
Listeners were asked to detect amplitude modulation (AM) of a target (or signal) carrier that was presented in isolation or in the presence of an additional (masker) carrier. The signal was modulated at a rate of 10 Hz, and the masker was unmodulated or was modulated at a rate of 2, 10, or 40 Hz. Nine listeners had normal hearing, 4 had a bilateral hearing loss, and 4 had a unilateral hearing loss; those with a unilateral loss were tested in both ears. The listeners with a hearing loss had normal hearing at 1 kHz and a 30- to 40-dB loss at 4 kHz. The carrier frequencies were 984 and 3952 Hz. In one set of conditions, the lower frequency carrier was the signal and the higher frequency carrier was the masker. In the other set, the reverse was true. For the impaired ears, the carriers were presented at 70 dB SPL. For the normal ears, either the carriers were both presented at 70 dB SPL or the higher frequency carrier was reduced to 40 dB SPL to simulate the lower sensation level experienced by the impaired ears. There was considerable individual variability in the results, and there was no clear effect of hearing loss. These results suggest that a mild, presumably cochlear hearing loss does not affect the ability to process AM in one frequency region in the presence of competing AM from another region.


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