Using response times to speech-in-noise to measure the influence of noise reduction on listening effort

  • Ilja Reinten Clinical & Experimental Audiology, Amsterdam University Medical Centres location AMC, Meibergdreef 9 1105 AZ Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • Inge de Ronde-Brons Pento Audiological Centre, Zangvogelweg 150 3815 DP Amersfoort, the Netherlands
  • Maj van den Tillaart-Haverkate Pento Audiological Centre, Zangvogelweg 150 3815 DP Amersfoort, the Netherlands
  • Rolph Houben Pento Audiological Centre, Zangvogelweg 150 3815 DP Amersfoort, the Netherlands
  • Wouter Dreschler Clinical & Experimental Audiology, Amsterdam University Medical Centres location AMC, Meibergdreef 9 1105 AZ Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Keywords: Hearing aids, Single microphone noise reduction

Abstract

Single microphone noise reduction (NR) can lead to a subjective benefit even when there is no objective improvement in speech intelligibility. A possible explanation lies in a reduction of listening effort. In a previous study, we showed that response times (a proxy for listening effort) to a simple arithmetic task with spoken digits in noise were reduced (i.e., improved) by NR for normal-hearing (NH) listeners. In the current study we complemented the data set with data from twelve hearing-impaired (HI) listeners, the target group for NR. Subjects were asked to add the first and third digit of a digit triplet in noise. Response times to this task were measured, subjective listening effort was rated, and speech intelligibility of the stimuli was tested. Stimuli were presented at three signal-to-noise ratios (SNR; -5, 0, +5 dB) and in quiet. Stimuli were either processed with ideal or non-ideal NR, or unprocessed. In contrast to the previous results with NH listeners, a significant effect of NR on response times was for HI listeners restricted to conditions where speech intelligibility was also affected (-5 dB SNR). We cannot confirm a positive effect on response times to speech-in-noise after applying NR for HI listeners.

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Published
2020-04-14
How to Cite
Reinten, I., de Ronde-Brons, I., van den Tillaart-Haverkate, M., Houben, R., & Dreschler, W. (2020). Using response times to speech-in-noise to measure the influence of noise reduction on listening effort. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Auditory and Audiological Research, 7, 165-172. Retrieved from https://proceedings.isaar.eu/index.php/isaarproc/article/view/2019-20
Section
2019/4. Novel directions in hearing-instrument technology