Individuals with auditory neuropathy (AN) often suffer from temporal processing deficits causing speech perception difficulties. In the present study an envelope enhancement scheme that incorporated envelope expansion was used to reduce the effects of temporal deficits. The study involved two experiments. In the first experiment, to simulate the effects of reduced temporal resolution, temporally smeared speech stimuli were presented to listeners with normal hearing. The results revealed that temporal smearing of the speech signal reduced identification scores. With the envelope enhancement of the speech signal prior to being temporally smeared, identification scores improved significantly compared to temporally smeared condition. The second experiment assessed speech perception in twelve individuals with AN, using unprocessed and envelope-enhanced speech signals. The results revealed improvement in speech identification scores for the majority of individuals with AN when the envelope of the speech signal was enhanced. However, envelope enhancement was not able to improve speech identification scores for individuals with AN who had very poor unprocessed speech scores. Overall, the results of the present study suggest that applying envelope enhancement strategies in hearing aids might provide some benefits to many individuals with AN.
- Assistive technology
- Behavioral measures
- Psychoacoustics/hearing science
- Speech perception