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Trends in Hearing

Lena L N Wong, Yuan Chen, Qianran Wang, Volker Kuehnel
Noise reduction systems have been implemented in hearing aids to improve signal-to-noise ratio and listening comfort. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of hearing aid noise reduction for Mandarin speakers. The results showed a significant improvement in acceptable noise levels and speech reception thresholds with noise reduction turned on. Sound quality ratings also suggested that most listeners preferred having noise reduction turned on for listening effort, listening comfort, speech clarity, and overall sound quality...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Barbra H B Timmer, Louise Hickson, Stefan Launer
Current approaches to the measurement of hearing aid benefit typically use clinical or laboratory-based speech perception tests or retrospective self-report surveys. However, when assessing hearing aid outcomes in adults with mild hearing impairment, the traditional outcome measures may not be sufficiently sensitive. An alternative to these techniques are approaches that capture data about real-world experiences as they are experienced, such as ecological momentary assessment. This single-subject experimental design pilot study investigated the feasibility of using ecological momentary assessment in assessing whether hearing aids make a difference to the real-world listening experiences of adults with mild hearing impairment...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Ben Williges, Tim Jürgens, Hongmei Hu, Mathias Dietz
Bilateral cochlear implant (BCI) users only have very limited spatial hearing abilities. Speech coding strategies transmit interaural level differences (ILDs) but in a distorted manner. Interaural time difference (ITD) information transmission is even more limited. With these cues, most BCI users can coarsely localize a single source in quiet, but performance quickly declines in the presence of other sound. This proof-of-concept study presents a novel signal processing algorithm specific for BCIs, with the aim to improve sound localization in noise...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Micha Lundbeck, Laura Hartog, Giso Grimm, Volker Hohmann, Lars Bramsløw, Tobias Neher
Hearing-impaired listeners are known to have difficulties not only with understanding speech in noise but also with judging source distance and movement, and these deficits are related to perceived handicap. It is possible that the perception of spatially dynamic sounds can be improved with hearing aids (HAs), but so far this has not been investigated. In a previous study, older hearing-impaired listeners showed poorer detectability for virtual left-right (angular) and near-far (radial) source movements due to lateral interfering sounds and reverberation, respectively...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Florian Denk, Stephan M A Ernst, Stephan D Ewert, Birger Kollmeier
To achieve a natural sound quality when listening through hearing devices, the sound pressure at the eardrum should replicate that of the open ear, modified only by an insertion gain if desired. A target approximating this reference condition can be computed by applying an appropriate correction function to the pressure observed at the device microphone. Such Target Response Correction Functions (TRCF) can be defined based on the directionally dependent relative transfer function between the location of the hearing device microphone and the eardrum of the open ear...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Maayan Manheim, Limor Lavie, Karen Banai
The effects of aging and age-related hearing loss on the ability to learn degraded speech are not well understood. This study was designed to compare the perceptual learning of time-compressed speech and its generalization to natural-fast speech across young adults with normal hearing, older adults with normal hearing, and older adults with age-related hearing loss. Early learning (following brief exposure to time-compressed speech) and later learning (following further training) were compared across groups...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Joseph Mellor, Michael A Stone, John Keane
Modern hearing instruments contain logging technology to record data, such as the acoustic environments in which the device is being used and how the signal processing is consequently operating. Combined with patient data, such as the audiogram, this information gives a more comprehensive picture of the user and their relationship with the aid. Here, a relatively large, anonymized dataset (>300,000 devices, >150,000 wearers) from a hearing-aid manufacturer was data mined for connections between subsets of the logged varieties of data...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Joseph C Mellor, Michael A Stone, John Keane
The ubiquity and cheapness of miniature low-power sensors, digital processing, and large amounts of storage contained in small packages has heralded the ability to acquire large amounts of data about systems during their course of operation. The size and complexity of the data sets so generated have colloquially been labeled "big data." The computer science field of "data mining" has arisen with the purpose of extracting meaning from such data, expressly looking for patterns that not only link historic observations but also predict future behavior...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Andreu Paredes-Gallardo, Sara M K Madsen, Torsten Dau, Jeremy Marozeau
The role of temporal cues in sequential stream segregation was investigated in cochlear implant (CI) listeners using a delay detection task composed of a sequence of bursts of pulses (B) on a single electrode interleaved with a second sequence (A) presented on the same electrode with a different pulse rate. In half of the trials, a delay was added to the last burst of the otherwise 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
W Owen Brimijoin
By moving sounds around the head and asking listeners to report which ones moved more, it was found that sound sources at the side of a listener must move at least twice as much as ones in front to be judged as moving the same amount. A relative expansion of space in the front and compression at the side has consequences for spatial perception of moving sounds by both static and moving listeners. An accompanying prediction that the apparent location of static sound sources ought to also be distorted agrees with previous work and suggests that this is a general perceptual phenomenon that is not limited to moving signals...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Christi L Hess, Sara M Misurelli, Ruth Y Litovsky
This study evaluated spatial release from masking (SRM) in 2- to 3-year-old children who are deaf and were implanted with bilateral cochlear implants (BiCIs), and in age-matched normal-hearing (NH) toddlers. Here, we examined whether early activation of bilateral hearing has the potential to promote SRM that is similar to age-matched NH children. Listeners were 13 NH toddlers and 13 toddlers with BiCIs, ages 27 to 36 months. Speech reception thresholds (SRTs) were measured for target speech in front (0°) and for competitors that were either Colocated in front (0°) or Separated toward the right (+90°)...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Alan Wiinberg, Johannes Zaar, Torsten Dau
This study examined the perceptual consequences of three speech enhancement schemes based on multiband nonlinear expansion of temporal envelope fluctuations between 10 and 20 Hz: (a) "idealized" envelope expansion of the speech before the addition of stationary background noise, (b) envelope expansion of the noisy speech, and (c) envelope expansion of only those time-frequency segments of the noisy speech that exhibited signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) above -10 dB. Linear processing was considered as a reference condition...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Emily Buss, Margaret T Dillon, Meredith A Rooth, English R King, Ellen J Deres, Craig A Buchman, Harold C Pillsbury, Kevin D Brown
A FDA clinical trial was carried out to evaluate the potential benefit of cochlear implant (CI) use for adults with unilateral moderate-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss. Subjects were 20 adults with moderate-to-profound unilateral sensorineural hearing loss and normal or near-normal hearing on the other side. A MED-EL standard electrode was implanted in the impaired ear. Outcome measures included: (a) sound localization on the horizontal plane (11 positions, -90° to 90°), (b) word recognition in quiet with the CI alone, and (c) masked sentence recognition with the target at 0° and the masker at -90°, 0°, or 90°...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Steve Park, Xiying Guan, Youngwan Kim, Francis Pete X Creighton, Eric Wei, Ioannis John Kymissis, Hideko Heidi Nakajima, Elizabeth S Olson
We report the fabrication and characterization of a prototype polyvinylidene fluoride polymer-based implantable microphone for detecting sound inside gerbil and human cochleae. With the current configuration and amplification, the signal-to-noise ratios were sufficiently high for normally occurring sound pressures and frequencies (ear canal pressures >50-60 dB SPL and 0.1-10 kHz), though 10 to 20 dB poorer than for some hearing aid microphones. These results demonstrate the feasibility of the prototype devices as implantable microphones for the development of totally implantable cochlear implants...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Gitte Keidser, Elizabeth Convery
Self-fitting hearing aids (SFHAs)-devices that enable self-directed threshold measurements leading to a prescribed hearing aid (HA) setting, and fine-tuning, without the need for professional support-are now commercially available. This study examined outcomes obtained with one commercial SFHA, the Companion (SoundWorld Solutions), when support was available from a clinical assistant during self-fitting. Participants consisted of 27 experienced and 25 new HA users who completed the self-fitting process, resulting in 38 user-driven and 14 clinician-driven fittings...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
René H Gifford, Jack H Noble, Stephen M Camarata, Linsey W Sunderhaus, Robert T Dwyer, Benoit M Dawant, Mary S Dietrich, Robert F Labadie
Adult cochlear implant (CI) recipients demonstrate a reliable relationship between spectral modulation detection and speech understanding. Prior studies documenting this relationship have focused on postlingually deafened adult CI recipients-leaving an open question regarding the relationship between spectral resolution and speech understanding for adults and children with prelingual onset of deafness. Here, we report CI performance on the measures of speech recognition and spectral modulation detection for 578 CI recipients including 477 postlingual adults, 65 prelingual adults, and 36 prelingual pediatric CI users...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Mishaela DiNino, Julie G Arenberg
Children's performance on psychoacoustic tasks improves with age, but inadequate auditory input may delay this maturation. Cochlear implant (CI) users receive a degraded auditory signal with reduced frequency resolution compared with normal, acoustic hearing; thus, immature auditory abilities may contribute to the variation among pediatric CI users' speech recognition scores. This study investigated relationships between age-related variables, spectral resolution, and vowel identification scores in prelingually deafened, early-implanted children with CIs compared with normal hearing (NH) children...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Gurjit Singh, Stefan Launer
To date, there is little understanding of how contextual factors may influence the decisions individuals make regarding the adoption of options for hearing rehabilitation. This explorative retrospective study investigated whether hearing aid adoption and return rates are associated with the time of the day at which an appointment takes place. The study sample consisted of 24,842 patients experiencing their first audiology appointment. It was observed that hearing aid adoption was significantly associated with appointment times whereby lower hearing aid adoption rates were observed at noon and 4 p...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Alan Kan
For patients with bilateral cochlear implants (BiCIs), understanding a target talker in a noisy situation can be difficult. Current efforts for improving speech-in-noise understanding have focused on improving signal-to-noise ratio by using multiple microphones or signal processing, with only moderate improvements in speech understanding performance. However, BiCI users typically report having a better ear for listening which can lead to an asymmetry in speech unmasking performance. This work proposes a novel listening strategy for improving speech-in-noise understanding by combining (a) a priori knowledge of a better ear and having a BiCI user selectively attend to a target talker in that ear with (b) signal processing that delivers the target talker to the better ear and the noisy background to the opposite ear...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
Philippe Fournier, Anne-Flore Cuvillier, Stéphane Gallego, Fabien Paolino, Michel Paolino, Anne Quemar, Alain Londero, Arnaud Norena
Tinnitus masking and residual inhibition (RI) are two well-known psychoacoustic measures of tinnitus. While it has long been suggested that they may provide diagnostic and prognostic information, these measures are still rarely performed in clinics, as they are too time consuming. Given this issue, the main goal of the present study was to validate a new method for assessing these measures. An acoustic sequence made of pulsed stimuli, which included a fixed stimulus duration and interstimulus interval, was applied to 68 tinnitus patients at two testing sites...
January 2018: Trends in Hearing
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