On the use of the distortion-sensitivity approach in examining the role of linguistic abilities in speech understanding in noise

S.T. Goverts, E. Huysmans, S.E. Kramer, A.M. Groot, T. Houtgast

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Purpose: Researchers have used the distortion-sensitivity approach in the psychoacoustical domain to investigate the role of auditory processing abilities in speech perception in noise (van Schijndel, Houtgast, & Festen, 2001; Goverts & Houtgast, 2010). In this study, the authors examined the potential applicability of the distortion-sensitivity approach for investigating the role of linguistic abilities in speech understanding in noise. Method: The authors applied the distortion-sensitivity approach by measuring the processing of visually presented masked text in a condition with manipulated syntactic, lexical, and semantic cues and while using the Text Reception Threshold (George et al., 2007; Kramer, Zekveld, & Houtgast, 2009; Zekveld, George, Kramer, Goverts, & Houtgast, 2007) method. Two groups that differed in linguistic abilities were studied: 13 native and 10 non-native speakers of Dutch, all typically hearing university students. Results: As expected, the non-native subjects showed substantially reduced performance. The results of the distortion-sensitivity approach yielded differentiated results on the use of specific linguistic cues in the 2 groups. Conclusion: The results show the potential value of the distortion-sensitivity approach in studying the role of linguistic abilities in speech understanding in noise of individuals with hearing impairment. © American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1702-1708
JournalJournal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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