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The use of spatial cues by hearing-impaired listeners in complex listening environments.

Bardsley, Barry 2019. The use of spatial cues by hearing-impaired listeners in complex listening environments. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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People with hearing loss often struggle to understand speech in the presence of background noise. The features of the interfering noise source, and where the sounds are located in the environment with reference to the listener’s position, influence the degree of difficulties faced by the listener. Those with hearing-impairment demonstrate a substantial loss in the intelligibility of speech in the presence of interfering noise sources, when compared to their normal- hearing counterparts. The ability to use dips in the envelope of the interfering source, fundamental frequency and spatial processing all become less useful for the person with hearing loss. This deficit cannot simply be explained by a reduction in audibility. Lip-reading provides an important cue for speech intelligibility and the advice given to those with hearing loss is to face the speaker of interest directly. The Jelfs et al. (2011) model predicts substantial benefit of orientating the head away from the target speech in normal-hearing listeners. This has since been confirmed by Grange and Culling (2016) in normal-hearing listeners. Hearing-impaired listeners were found to gain a similar level of benefit by orientating the head away from the target. This has ramifications for audiology services and the advice provided by clinicians. When interference comes predominantly from one side, the listener is advised to turn the head 30° away from the target talker and toward the interferers. A major problem with studying the hearing-impaired population is the variability in performance on measures that underpin speech intelligibility in noise. This causes an issue when making comparisons with the normal-hearing population. An approach to examining the relevance of individual performance measures to overall speech intelligibility is to make a median split based on each measure, and then compare the speech-in-noise performance of the resulting groups. Measures of binaural temporal fine structure processing, processing of level and time differences independently and contralateral masking were used to explore the factors that lead to poor use of spatial cues by hearing-impaired listeners. No explanation for the poor use of spatial cues could be found in these measures.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 11 November 2019
Date of Acceptance: 8 November 2019
Last Modified: 28 Jul 2020 01:30

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