Relationship between objective measures of hearing discrimination elicited by non-linguistic stimuli and speech perception in adults

Hugo Sohier*, Fabrice Bardy, Teresa Y. C. Ching

*Corresponding author for this work

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1 Citation (Scopus)
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Some people using hearing aids have difficulty discriminating between sounds even though the sounds are audible. As such, cochlear implants may provide greater benefits for speech perception. One method to identify people with auditory discrimination deficits is to measure discrimination thresholds using spectral ripple noise (SRN). Previous studies have shown that behavioral discrimination of SRN was associated with speech perception, and behavioral discrimination was also related to cortical responses to acoustic change or ACCs. We hypothesized that cortical ACCs could be directly related to speech perception. In this study, we investigated the relationship between subjective speech perception and objective ACC responses measured using SRNs. We tested 13 normal-hearing and 10 hearing-impaired adults using hearing aids. Our results showed that behavioral SRN discrimination was correlated with speech perception in quiet and in noise. Furthermore, cortical ACC responses to phase changes in the SRN were significantly correlated with speech perception. Audibility was a major predictor of discrimination and speech perception, but direct measures of auditory discrimination could contribute information about a listener’s sensitivity to acoustic cues that underpin speech perception. The findings lend support for potential application of measuring ACC responses to SRNs for identifying people who may benefit from cochlear implants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number19554
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021

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Copyright the Author(s) 2021. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


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