Effects of auditory acclimatization to bilateral amplification on audio-visual sentence-in-noise processing and speech-evoked potentials
Recently, Wendt et al. (2014) developed an eye-tracking paradigm for estimating how quickly a participant can grasp the meaning of audio-visual sentence-in-noise stimuli (the ‘processing time’). Using this paradigm, Wendt et al. (2015) and Habicht et al. (2015) found that hearing-impaired listeners with prior hearing aid (HA) experience performed faster on this task than hearing-impaired listeners without any HA experience, despite comparable speech recognition performance. To better understand this finding the current study investigated the effects of auditory acclimatization to bilateral amplification on this task using a longitudinal study design. Groups of novice and experienced HA users took part. The novice users were tested before and after 12 weeks of acclimatization to bilateral HAs. The experienced users were tested with their own devices over the same time period. In addition to the processing time measurements, speech-evoked potentials were measured. Initial results show a tendency for shorter processing times for linguistically complex sentences and no changes in speech-evoked potentials. Additional analyses based on a set of measurements collected after another 12 weeks of acclimatization will make it possible to scrutinize the variables of interest further.
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