Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The effects of glimpsing and lexical difficulty on word recognition in young normal-hearing listeners
by Wang, Xin, Ph.D., Indiana University, 2009, 170; 3358984
Abstract (Summary)

In daily communication, speech information is often partially lost in the communication channel or masked by external noise. To restore the meaning of the original utterance, listeners have to apply certain perceptual strategies to integrate the remaining meaningful speech segments. Inspired by the “multiple looks” theory proposed to explain temporal integration for non-speech stimuli, the temporal integration of speech information has been modeled as a “glimpsing” process in which listeners identify and integrate meaningful speech fragments to restore the meaning of the original utterance. This process has been studied by interrupting the speech signal or masking it with a fluctuating noise. Although this type of research has a long history, there are still some fundamental questions about the factors affecting this integration process. For a variety of reasons, the majority of studies of the perception of temporally fragmented speech have examined the temporal integration of speech in an interrupted noise. However, it is important to understand the temporal integration process without the interference of the noise. Therefore, the present study examined the effect of interruption-related and non-interruption-related factors on the recognition of interrupted CVC words in quiet in young normal-hearing listeners.

This study included a total of sixty-two young normal-hearing listeners who were native speakers of English. Listeners were randomly assigned to one of three test groups that differ in talker (male/female) and presentation level (65/85 dB SPL), each comprised of about 20 subjects. Group comparisons examined the effects of presentation level and talker on performance. Within each group, there were two repeated-measures variables: stimulus condition and lexical difficulty. A total of 13 stimulus conditions, representing various combinations of interruption rate, on-duration, and speech-waveform proportion, were examined. Two values of lexical difficulty were evaluated.

In general, the proportion of the speech waveform presented was the main factor that determined the intelligibility of interrupted CVC words. Lexical difficulty also had major impact on performance. Other non-interruption-related factors, such as talker and presentation level, also influenced the intelligibility of interrupted words, but to a much smaller extent.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Humes, Larry E.
Commitee: Kewley-Port, Diane, Lentz, Jennifer, Pisoni, David B.
School: Indiana University
Department: Speech and Hearing
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-B 70/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Audiology
Keywords: Interruptions, Lexical difficulty, Normal hearing listeners, Word recognition
Publication Number: 3358984
ISBN: 978-1-109-18404-4
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