Auditory Tests for Characterizing Hearing Deficits in Listeners With Various Hearing Abilities: The BEAR Test Battery

Raul Sanchez-Lopez*, Silje Grini Nielsen, Mouhamad El-Haj-Ali, Federica Bianchi, Michal Fereczkowski, Oscar M. Cañete, Mengfan Wu, Tobias Neher, Torsten Dau*, Sébastien Santurette*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

The Better hEAring Rehabilitation (BEAR) project aims to provide a new clinical profiling tool—a test battery—for hearing loss characterization. Although the loss of sensitivity can be efficiently measured using pure-tone audiometry, the assessment of supra-threshold hearing deficits remains a challenge. In contrast to the classical “attenuation-distortion” model, the proposed BEAR approach is based on the hypothesis that the hearing abilities of a given listener can be characterized along two dimensions, reflecting independent types of perceptual deficits (distortions). A data-driven approach provided evidence for the existence of different auditory profiles with different degrees of distortions. Ten tests were included in a test battery, based on their clinical feasibility, time efficiency, and related evidence from the literature. The tests were divided into six categories: audibility, speech perception, binaural processing abilities, loudness perception, spectro-temporal modulation sensitivity, and spectro-temporal resolution. Seventy-five listeners with symmetric, mild-to-severe sensorineural hearing loss were selected from a clinical population. The analysis of the results showed interrelations among outcomes related to high-frequency processing and outcome measures related to low-frequency processing abilities. The results showed the ability of the tests to reveal differences among individuals and their potential use in clinical settings.
Original languageEnglish
Article number724007
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Volume15
Number of pages19
ISSN1662-4548
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Audiology
  • Hearing loss
  • Loudness
  • Binaural processing
  • Speech perception
  • Spectro-temporal resolution
  • Auditory profile

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