Contribution of low- and high-frequency bands to binaural unmasking in hearing-impaired listeners

Gusztav Locsei, Torsten Dau, Sébastien Santurette, Ewen MacDonald

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This study investigated the contribution of interaural timing differences (ITDs) in different frequency regions to binaural unmasking (BU) of speech. Speech reception thresholds (SRTs) and binaural intelligibility level differences (BILDs) were measured in two-talker babble in 6 young normal-hearing (NH) and 9 elderly hearing-impaired (HI) listeners with normal or closeto- normal hearing at and below 1.5 kHz. Target sentences were presented diotically, embedded in a stream of diotic or dichotic maskers. Both target and masker sentences were split into frequency regions above and below 1.25 kHz. In the dichotic listening conditions, the maskers were lateralized to the left side by introducing 0.68-ms ITDs in either the low-frequency band, the high-frequency band, or both bands simultaneously. BILDs were found to be similar in both listener groups when the ITDs were imposed on the lowfrequency band only. ITDs in the high-frequency band alone did not produce any BILD in any of the groups. However, when ITDs were imposed in both frequency bands, the NH listeners yielded significantly greater BILDs than the HI listeners. The results suggest that, on a group level, HI listeners relied solely on ITDs in the low-frequency band while NH listeners were able to utilize envelope ITDs above 1.25 kHz to facilitate the BU of speech.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Symposium on Auditory and Audiological Research
EditorsS. Santurette, T. Dau, J. C.-Dalsgaard, L. Tranebjærg, T. Andersen, T. Poulsen
Volume6: Adaptive Processes in Hearing
PublisherThe Danavox Jubilee Foundation
Publication date2017
ISBN (Electronic)978-87-990013-6-1
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventInternational Symposium on Auditory and Audiological Research - Hotel Nyborg Strand, Nyborg, Denmark
Duration: 23 Aug 201725 Aug 2017


ConferenceInternational Symposium on Auditory and Audiological Research
LocationHotel Nyborg Strand
Internet address

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