Auditory Profiling and Profile-based Hearing-aid Processing Strategies

Sanchez Lopez, R. (Guest lecturer), Fereczkowski, M. (Other), Santurette, S. (Other), Tobias Neher (Other), Dau, T. (Guest lecturer)

Activity: Talks and presentationsConference presentations

Description

Currently, clinical characterization of hearing deficits for hearing-aid fitting is based on the pure-tone audiogram only. Implicitly, this assumes that the audiogram can predict performance on complex, supra-threshold tasks. Sanchez-Lopez et al. (Trends in Hearing, Vol. 22, 2018) hypothesized that the hearing deficits of a given listener, both at threshold and supra-threshold levels, result from two independent types of auditory distortion. In their study, a data-driven method for classifying the listeners into four auditory profiles was proposed and validated. However, the definition of the two types of distortion was challenged by differences between the two datasets in terms of the tests and listeners used. In the current study, a refined method and definition of the auditory profiles is proposed. A new dataset was generated with the aim of overcoming the limitations of the previous study. A heterogeneous group of listeners was tested across three locations using a test-battery designed to tap into different aspects of hearing, including speech perception in quiet and noise, loudness perception, binaural processing abilities, and spectro-temporal resolution. The collected data were analyzed using the analysis developed by Sanchez-Lopez et al. (2018). Furthermore, a profile-based hearing-aid fitting differing in terms of gain prescription and signal-to-noise ratio improvement was proposed and tested with listeners belonging to the four proposed auditory profiles. Using a hearing-aid simulator, the listeners’ subjective preference for the proposed hearing-aid processing strategies was assessed in various realistic sound scenarios. The results suggested that the different auditory profiles are associated with different preferences in terms of amplification, compression and signal-to-noise ratio improvement. Altogether, the developed method for profile-based HA fitting shows promise with respect to individualizing HA signal processing. Future work will be concerned with testing it in a large field study with wearable devices. Moreover, profile-based hearing-aid fitting may be extended to new paradigms of hearing loss compensation and advanced signal processing.
Period27 Jan 2020
Event title43rd annual ARO midwinter meeting
Event typeConference
LocationSan Jose, United States, California

Keywords

  • hearing deficits
  • hearing aids
  • hearing loss
  • Hearing Research
  • Auditory Perception