Effects of time of day and cognitive load on aided performance
A link among hearing loss, fatigue, listening effort, and cognitive drain has been suggested to impact benefit from amplification. Hornsby (2013) investigated the effects of hearing aid (HA) use on effort and fatigue for complex listening, suggesting that these negative consequences can be reduced by using well-fit HAs. To probe into this, an experiment was designed where 14 HA users were tested aided in complex listening tasks on late Friday afternoon, Saturday morning, and late Saturday afternoon. In between the two Saturday tests participants were taken on a tour, designed to span a range of challenging listening tasks. This was done twice, using two different levels of hearing technology. Single and dual task versions of the hearing in noise test (HINT) were used to test listening abilities. Self-report probed into fatigue and vigor, different aspects of perceived listening, and characterized participants as morning, intermediate, or evening types. In addition to audiometric measures, the reading span was used to assess cognitive status. Results showed that aided listening changed over the course of a day, performance in the morning was not the best despite most participants being morning types, and well-rested and speech understanding was better in the afternoon despite self-perceived fatigue being increased. Higher technology level did positively affect some objective and subjective listening abilities.
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