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Trends in Hearing

Sébastien Santurette, Jakob Christensen-Dalsgaard, Lisbeth Tranebjærg, Ture Andersen, Torben Poulsen, Torsten Dau
Our auditory environment is constantly changing and evolving over time, requiring us to rapidly adapt to a complex dynamic sensory input. This adaptive ability of our auditory system can be observed at different levels, from individual cell responses to complex neural mechanisms and behavior, and is essential to achieve successful speech communication, correct orientation in our full environment, and eventually survival. These adaptive processes may differ in individuals with hearing loss, whose auditory system may cope via "readapting" itself over a longer time scale to the changes in sensory input induced by hearing impairment and the compensation provided by hearing devices...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Martin Pienkowski
Hearing loss changes the auditory brain, sometimes maladaptively. When deprived of cochlear input, central auditory neurons become more active spontaneously and begin to respond more strongly and synchronously to better preserved sound frequencies. This spontaneous and sound-evoked central hyperactivity has been postulated to trigger tinnitus and hyperacusis, respectively. Localized hyperactivity has also been observed after long-term exposure to noise levels that do not damage the cochlea. Adult animals exposed to bands of nondamaging noise exhibited suppressed spontaneous and sound-evoked activity in the area of primary auditory cortex (A1) stimulated by the exposure band but had increased spontaneous and evoked activity in neighboring A1 areas...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Yi Shen, Allison B Kern
Individual differences in the recognition of monosyllabic words, either in isolation (NU6 test) or in sentence context (SPIN test), were investigated under the theoretical framework of the speech intelligibility index (SII). An adaptive psychophysical procedure, namely the quick-band-importance-function procedure, was developed to enable the fitting of the SII model to individual listeners. Using this procedure, the band importance function (i.e., the relative weights of speech information across the spectrum) and the link function relating the SII to recognition scores can be simultaneously estimated while requiring only 200 to 300 trials of testing...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Xiaoting Cheng, Yangwenyi Liu, Yilai Shu, Duo-Duo Tao, Bing Wang, Yasheng Yuan, John J Galvin, Qian-Jie Fu, Bing Chen
Due to limited spectral resolution, cochlear implants (CIs) do not convey pitch information very well. Pitch cues are important for perception of music and tonal language; it is possible that music training may improve performance in both listening tasks. In this study, we investigated music training outcomes in terms of perception of music, lexical tones, and sentences in 22 young (4.8 to 9.3 years old), prelingually deaf Mandarin-speaking CI users. Music perception was measured using a melodic contour identification (MCI) task...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Gilles Courtois, Hervé Lissek, Philippe Estoppey, Yves Oesch, Xavier Gigandet
Little is known about the perception of artificial spatial hearing by hearing-impaired subjects. The purpose of this study was to investigate how listeners with hearing disorders perceived the effect of a spatialization feature designed for wireless microphone systems. Forty listeners took part in the experiments. They were arranged in four groups: normal-hearing, moderate, severe, and profound hearing loss. Their performance in terms of speech understanding and speaker localization was assessed with diotic and binaural stimuli...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Duo-Duo Tao, Ji-Sheng Liu, Zhen-Dong Yang, Blake S Wilson, Ning Zhou
The hearing loss criterion for cochlear implant candidacy in mainland China is extremely stringent (bilateral severe to profound hearing loss), resulting in few patients with substantial residual hearing in the nonimplanted ear. The main objective of the current study was to examine the benefit of bimodal hearing in typical Mandarin-speaking implant users who have poorer residual hearing in the nonimplanted ear relative to those used in the English-speaking studies. Seventeen Mandarin-speaking bimodal users with pure-tone averages of ∼80 dB HL participated in the study...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Jourdan T Holder, Susan M Reynolds, Linsey W Sunderhaus, René H Gifford
Considerable advancements in cochlear implant technology (e.g., electric acoustic stimulation) and assessment materials have yielded expanded criteria. Despite this, it is unclear whether individuals with better audiometric thresholds and speech understanding are being referred for cochlear implant workup and pursuing cochlear implantation. The purpose of this study was to characterize the mean auditory and demographic profile of adults presenting for preoperative cochlear implant workup. Data were collected prospectively for all adult preoperative workups at Vanderbilt from 2013 to 2015...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Sheila Flanagan, Tudor-Cătălin Zorilă, Yannis Stylianou, Brian C J Moore
Auditory processing disorder (APD) may be diagnosed when a child has listening difficulties but has normal audiometric thresholds. For adults with normal hearing and with mild-to-moderate hearing impairment, an algorithm called spectral shaping with dynamic range compression (SSDRC) has been shown to increase the intelligibility of speech when background noise is added after the processing. Here, we assessed the effect of such processing using 8 children with APD and 10 age-matched control children. The loudness of the processed and unprocessed sentences was matched using a loudness model...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Andreu Paredes-Gallardo, Sara M K Madsen, Torsten Dau, Jeremy Marozeau
Sequential stream segregation by cochlear implant (CI) listeners was investigated using a temporal delay detection task composed of a sequence of regularly presented bursts of pulses on a single electrode (B) interleaved with an irregular sequence (A) presented on a different electrode. In half of the trials, a delay was added to the last burst of the regular B sequence, and the listeners were asked to detect this delay. As a jitter was added to the period between consecutive A bursts, time judgments between the A and B sequences provided an unreliable cue to perform the task...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Christopher F Hauth, Thomas Brand
In studies investigating binaural processing in human listeners, relatively long and task-dependent time constants of a binaural window ranging from 10 ms to 250 ms have been observed. Such time constants are often thought to reflect "binaural sluggishness." In this study, the effect of binaural sluggishness on binaural unmasking of speech in stationary speech-shaped noise is investigated in 10 listeners with normal hearing. In order to design a masking signal with temporally varying binaural cues, the interaural phase difference of the noise was modulated sinusoidally with frequencies ranging from 0...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Paul N Reinhart, Pamela E Souza
Reverberation enhances music perception and is one of the most important acoustic factors in auditorium design. However, previous research on reverberant music perception has focused on young normal-hearing (YNH) listeners. Old hearing-impaired (OHI) listeners have degraded spatial auditory processing; therefore, they may perceive reverberant music differently. Two experiments were conducted examining the effects of varying reverberation on music perception for YNH and OHI listeners. Experiment 1 examined whether YNH listeners and OHI listeners prefer different amounts of reverberation for classical music listening...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Arjenne H M Gussenhoven, Johannes R Anema, Birgit I Witte, S Theo Goverts, Sophia E Kramer
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a vocational enablement protocol (VEP) on need for recovery (NFR) after work as compared with usual care for employees with hearing difficulties. In a randomized controlled trial design, 136 employees with hearing impairment were randomly assigned to either the VEP or the control group. VEP is a multidisciplinary program integrating audiological and occupational care for individuals experiencing difficulties in the workplace due to hearing loss. The primary outcome measure was NFR...
January 2017: Trends in Hearing
Adam Dryden, Harriet A Allen, Helen Henshaw, Antje Heinrich
Published studies assessing the association between cognitive performance and speech-in-noise (SiN) perception examine different aspects of each, test different listeners, and often report quite variable associations. By examining the published evidence base using a systematic approach, we aim to identify robust patterns across studies and highlight any remaining gaps in knowledge. We limit our assessment to adult unaided listeners with audiometric profiles ranging from normal hearing to moderate hearing loss...
January 2017: Trends in Hearing
Marieke Pronk, Dorly J H Deeg, Niek J Versfeld, Martijn W Heymans, Graham Naylor, Sophia E Kramer
This study aimed to determine the predictors of entering a hearing aid evaluation period (HAEP) using a prospective design drawing on the health belief model and the transtheoretical model. In total, 377 older persons who presented with hearing problems to an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist ( n = 110) or a hearing aid dispenser ( n = 267) filled in a baseline questionnaire. After 4 months, it was determined via a telephone interview whether or not participants had decided to enter a HAEP. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were applied to determine which baseline variables predicted HAEP status...
January 2017: Trends in Hearing
Irene Jacobi, Marya Sheikh Rashid, Jan A P M de Laat, Wouter A Dreschler
Previously found effects of age on thresholds for speech reception thresholds in noise in adolescents as measured by an online screening survey require further study in a well-controlled teenage sample. Speech reception thresholds (SRT) of 72 normal-hearing adolescent students were analyzed by means of the online speech-in-noise screening tool Earcheck (In Dutch: Oorcheck). Screening was performed at school and included pure-tone audiometry to ensure normal-hearing thresholds. The students' ages ranged from 12 to 17 years...
January 2017: Trends in Hearing
Kinjal Mehta, Peter Watkin, Margaret Baldwin, Josephine Marriage, Merle Mahon, Deborah Vickers
Recording of free-field cortical auditory evoked potential (CAEP) responses to speech tokens was introduced into the audiology management for infants with a permanent childhood hearing impairment (PCHI) during 2011-2015 at a U.K. service. Children with bilateral PCHI were studied from two sequential cohorts. Thirty-four children had followed an audiology pathway prior to CAEP introduction, and 44 children followed a pathway after the introduction of CAEP and were tested with unaided and aided CAEP responses...
January 2017: Trends in Hearing
Marre W Kaandorp, Cas Smits, Paul Merkus, Joost M Festen, S Theo Goverts
Not all of the variance in speech-recognition performance of cochlear implant (CI) users can be explained by biographic and auditory factors. In normal-hearing listeners, linguistic and cognitive factors determine most of speech-in-noise performance. The current study explored specifically the influence of visually measured lexical-access ability compared with other cognitive factors on speech recognition of 24 postlingually deafened CI users. Speech-recognition performance was measured with monosyllables in quiet (consonant-vowel-consonant [CVC]), sentences-in-noise (SIN), and digit-triplets in noise (DIN)...
January 2017: Trends in Hearing
Lauren Calandruccio, Emily Buss, Kristina Bowdrie
Previous work has shown that masked-sentence recognition is particularly poor when the masker is composed of two competing talkers, a finding that is attributed to informational masking. Informational masking tends to be largest when the target and masker talkers are perceptually similar. Reductions in masking have been observed for a wide range of target and masker differences, including language: Performance is better when the target and masker talkers speak in different languages, compared with the same language...
January 2017: Trends in Hearing
Andrea L Pittman, Elizabeth C Stewart, Amanda P Willman, Ian S Odgear
Two amplification features were examined using auditory tasks that varied in stimulus familiarity. It was expected that the benefits of certain amplification features would increase as the familiarity with the stimuli decreased. A total of 20 children and 15 adults with normal hearing as well as 21 children and 17 adults with mild to severe hearing loss participated. Three models of ear-level devices were selected based on the quality of the high-frequency amplification or the digital noise reduction (DNR) they provided...
January 2017: Trends in Hearing
Ann E Todd, Griet Mertens, Paul Van de Heyning, David M Landsberger
One way to provide pitch information to cochlear implant users is through amplitude-modulation rate. It is currently unknown whether amplitude-modulation rate can provide cochlear implant users with pitch information adequate for perceiving melodic information. In the present study, the notes of a song were encoded via amplitude-modulation rate of pulse trains on single electrodes at the apex or middle of long electrode arrays. The melody of the song was either physically correct or modified by compression or expansion...
January 2017: Trends in Hearing
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