Effects of sensorineural hearing loss on cortical synchronization to competing speech during selective attention

Søren A Fuglsang, Jonatan Märcher-Rørsted, Torsten Dau, Jens Hjortkjær*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

When selectively attending to a speech stream in multi-talker scenarios, low-frequency cortical activity is known to synchronize selectively to fluctuations in the attended speech signal. Older listeners with age-related sensorineural hearing loss (presbycusis) often struggle to understand speech in such situations, even when wearing a hearing aid. Yet, it is unclear whether a peripheral hearing loss degrades the attentional modulation of cortical speech tracking. Here, we used psychoacoustics and electroencephalography (EEG) in male and female human listeners to examine potential effects of hearing loss on EEG correlates of speech envelope synchronization in cortex. Behaviorally, older hearing-impaired (HI) listeners showed degraded speech-in-noise recognition and reduced temporal acuity compared to age-matched normal-hearing (NH) controls. During EEG recordings, we used a selective attention task with two spatially separated simultaneous speech streams where NH and HI listeners both showed high speech recognition performance. Low-frequency (
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of neuroscience
Volume40
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)2562–2572
ISSN0270-6474
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Decoding
  • EEG
  • Hearing loss
  • Selective attention
  • Speech
  • Stimulus-response model

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