Temporal and spectral masking release in low- and mid-frequency regions for normal-hearing and hearing-impaired listeners

Agnès C. Léger, Brian C J Moore, Christian Lorenzi

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Masking release (MR), the improvement of speech intelligibility in modulated compared with unmodulated maskers, is typically smaller than normal for hearing-impaired listeners. The extent to which this is due to reduced audibility or to suprathreshold processing deficits is unclear. Here, the effects of audibility were controlled by using stimuli restricted to the low- (1.5 kHz) or mid-frequency (1-3 kHz) region for normal-hearing listeners and hearing-impaired listeners with near-normal hearing in the tested region. Previous work suggests that the latter may have suprathreshold deficits. Both spectral and temporal MR were measured. Consonant identification was measured in quiet and in the presence of unmodulated, amplitude-modulated, and spectrally modulated noise at three signal-to-noise ratios (the same ratios for the two groups). For both frequency regions, consonant identification was poorer for the hearing-impaired than for the normal-hearing listeners in all conditions. The results suggest the presence of suprathreshold deficits for the hearing-impaired listeners, despite near-normal audiometric thresholds over the tested frequency regions. However, spectral MR and temporal MR were similar for the two groups. Thus, the suprathreshold deficits for the hearing-impaired group did not lead to reduced MR. © 2012 Acoustical Society of America.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1502-1514
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
    Volume131
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012

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