Exploring the Relationship Between Working Memory, Compressor Speed, and Background Noise Characteristics

Barbara Ohlenforst, Pamela E. Souza, Ewen MacDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

243 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Objectives: Previous work has shown that individuals with lower working memory demonstrate reduced intelligibility for speech processed with fast-acting compression amplification. This relationship has been noted in fluctuating noise, but the extent of noise modulation that must be present to elicit such an effect is unknown. This study expanded on previous study by exploring the effect of background noise modulations in relation to compression speed and working memory ability, using a range of signal to noise ratios. Design: Twenty-six older participants between ages 61 and 90 years were grouped by high or low working memory according to their performance on a reading span test. Speech intelligibility was measured for low-context sentences presented in background noise, where the noise varied in the extent of amplitude modulation. Simulated fast- or slowacting compression amplification combined with individual frequency gain shaping was applied to compensate for the individual’s hearing loss. Results: Better speech intelligibility scores were observed for participants with high working memory when fast compression was applied than when slow compression was applied. The low working memory group behaved in the opposite way and performed better under slow compression compared with fast compression. There was also a significant
effect of the extent of amplitude modulation in the background noise, such that the magnitude of the score difference (fast versus slow compression) depended on the number of talkers in the background noise. The presented signal to noise ratios were not a significant factor on the measured intelligibility performance. Conclusion: In agreement with earlier research, high working memory
allowed better speech intelligibility when fast compression was applied in modulated background noise. In the present experiment, that effect was present regardless of the extent of background noise modulation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEar and Hearing
Volume37
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)137-143
ISSN0196-0202
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Compression
  • Hearing loss
  • Modulation
  • Release time
  • Speech intelligibility
  • Working Memory

Cite this

@article{d9ef63226fef454e84f4dbe622b5fef3,
title = "Exploring the Relationship Between Working Memory, Compressor Speed, and Background Noise Characteristics",
abstract = "Objectives: Previous work has shown that individuals with lower working memory demonstrate reduced intelligibility for speech processed with fast-acting compression amplification. This relationship has been noted in fluctuating noise, but the extent of noise modulation that must be present to elicit such an effect is unknown. This study expanded on previous study by exploring the effect of background noise modulations in relation to compression speed and working memory ability, using a range of signal to noise ratios. Design: Twenty-six older participants between ages 61 and 90 years were grouped by high or low working memory according to their performance on a reading span test. Speech intelligibility was measured for low-context sentences presented in background noise, where the noise varied in the extent of amplitude modulation. Simulated fast- or slowacting compression amplification combined with individual frequency gain shaping was applied to compensate for the individual’s hearing loss. Results: Better speech intelligibility scores were observed for participants with high working memory when fast compression was applied than when slow compression was applied. The low working memory group behaved in the opposite way and performed better under slow compression compared with fast compression. There was also a significanteffect of the extent of amplitude modulation in the background noise, such that the magnitude of the score difference (fast versus slow compression) depended on the number of talkers in the background noise. The presented signal to noise ratios were not a significant factor on the measured intelligibility performance. Conclusion: In agreement with earlier research, high working memoryallowed better speech intelligibility when fast compression was applied in modulated background noise. In the present experiment, that effect was present regardless of the extent of background noise modulation.",
keywords = "Compression, Hearing loss, Modulation, Release time, Speech intelligibility, Working Memory",
author = "Barbara Ohlenforst and Souza, {Pamela E.} and Ewen MacDonald",
year = "2016",
doi = "10.1097/AUD.0000000000000240",
language = "English",
volume = "37",
pages = "137--143",
journal = "Ear and Hearing",
issn = "0196-0202",
publisher = "Lippincott Williams & Wilkins",
number = "2",

}

Exploring the Relationship Between Working Memory, Compressor Speed, and Background Noise Characteristics. / Ohlenforst, Barbara; Souza, Pamela E. ; MacDonald, Ewen.

In: Ear and Hearing, Vol. 37, No. 2, 2016, p. 137-143.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Exploring the Relationship Between Working Memory, Compressor Speed, and Background Noise Characteristics

AU - Ohlenforst, Barbara

AU - Souza, Pamela E.

AU - MacDonald, Ewen

PY - 2016

Y1 - 2016

N2 - Objectives: Previous work has shown that individuals with lower working memory demonstrate reduced intelligibility for speech processed with fast-acting compression amplification. This relationship has been noted in fluctuating noise, but the extent of noise modulation that must be present to elicit such an effect is unknown. This study expanded on previous study by exploring the effect of background noise modulations in relation to compression speed and working memory ability, using a range of signal to noise ratios. Design: Twenty-six older participants between ages 61 and 90 years were grouped by high or low working memory according to their performance on a reading span test. Speech intelligibility was measured for low-context sentences presented in background noise, where the noise varied in the extent of amplitude modulation. Simulated fast- or slowacting compression amplification combined with individual frequency gain shaping was applied to compensate for the individual’s hearing loss. Results: Better speech intelligibility scores were observed for participants with high working memory when fast compression was applied than when slow compression was applied. The low working memory group behaved in the opposite way and performed better under slow compression compared with fast compression. There was also a significanteffect of the extent of amplitude modulation in the background noise, such that the magnitude of the score difference (fast versus slow compression) depended on the number of talkers in the background noise. The presented signal to noise ratios were not a significant factor on the measured intelligibility performance. Conclusion: In agreement with earlier research, high working memoryallowed better speech intelligibility when fast compression was applied in modulated background noise. In the present experiment, that effect was present regardless of the extent of background noise modulation.

AB - Objectives: Previous work has shown that individuals with lower working memory demonstrate reduced intelligibility for speech processed with fast-acting compression amplification. This relationship has been noted in fluctuating noise, but the extent of noise modulation that must be present to elicit such an effect is unknown. This study expanded on previous study by exploring the effect of background noise modulations in relation to compression speed and working memory ability, using a range of signal to noise ratios. Design: Twenty-six older participants between ages 61 and 90 years were grouped by high or low working memory according to their performance on a reading span test. Speech intelligibility was measured for low-context sentences presented in background noise, where the noise varied in the extent of amplitude modulation. Simulated fast- or slowacting compression amplification combined with individual frequency gain shaping was applied to compensate for the individual’s hearing loss. Results: Better speech intelligibility scores were observed for participants with high working memory when fast compression was applied than when slow compression was applied. The low working memory group behaved in the opposite way and performed better under slow compression compared with fast compression. There was also a significanteffect of the extent of amplitude modulation in the background noise, such that the magnitude of the score difference (fast versus slow compression) depended on the number of talkers in the background noise. The presented signal to noise ratios were not a significant factor on the measured intelligibility performance. Conclusion: In agreement with earlier research, high working memoryallowed better speech intelligibility when fast compression was applied in modulated background noise. In the present experiment, that effect was present regardless of the extent of background noise modulation.

KW - Compression

KW - Hearing loss

KW - Modulation

KW - Release time

KW - Speech intelligibility

KW - Working Memory

U2 - 10.1097/AUD.0000000000000240

DO - 10.1097/AUD.0000000000000240

M3 - Journal article

C2 - 26517451

VL - 37

SP - 137

EP - 143

JO - Ear and Hearing

JF - Ear and Hearing

SN - 0196-0202

IS - 2

ER -