Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Speech in noise ability, outer hair cell function, and working memory for trained flute players
by Caldwell, Kelly A., M.S., East Carolina University, 2015, 106; 1590068
Abstract (Summary)

The process of auditory speech recognition requires verbal ability, working memory, recall, and adequate auditory abilities to recognize speech. There is a well-known positive effect of musical training and experience on verbal working memory and speech recognition in noise compared to those without formal musical training. This study was conducted to determine the relationships between outer hair cell function, speech in noise ability, and working memory for flute players (N=12) and non-musician controls (N=10). The secondary purpose of this study is to determine the differences between flute players and matched controls on these three variables. Test included pure tone audiometry, distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs), working memory, and three speech in noise tests. Significant group differences were found between HINT thresholds using four talker babble in the Noise Front and Noise Right conditions. Non-musician controls were found to demonstrate a significant relationship between HINT 4T NF and bilateral high frequency DPOAEs. Flute players were found to demonstrate a significant negative relationship between working memory and outer hair cell function for the left ear, and a significant negative relationship between right high frequency DPOAEs and years of experience. Incidentally, the flute player group reported more perceived difficulty hearing speech in noise than the non-musician control group despite higher mean high frequency DPOAE response amplitudes than the controls. These data imply that another auditory or cognitive factor contributes to perceived difficulty recognizing speech in the presence of noise.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Vermiglio, Andrew J.
Commitee: Brinkley, Jason T., Cox, Kathleen T., Gemperline, Paul J., Given, Gregg D.
School: East Carolina University
Department: Communication Sciences and Disorders
School Location: United States -- North Carolina
Source: MAI 54/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Audiology, Neurosciences, Speech therapy
Keywords: Auditory processing, Cognitive processing, Outer hair cell, Speech in noise, Working memory
Publication Number: 1590068
ISBN: 9781321787672
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