Benefits of Auditory Training with an Open-Set Sentences-in-Babble-Noise

Ayelet Barda, Yair Shapira, Leah Fostick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Featured Application: The paper provides evidence of auditory training that improves speech perception in situations that reflect the daily challenge of speech perception in noise for changing talkers. Auditory training (AT) has limited generalization to non-trained stimuli. Therefore, in the current study, we tested the effect of stimuli similar to that used in daily life: sentences in background noise. The sample consisted of 15 Hebrew-speaking adults aged 61–88 years with bilateral hearing impairment who engaged in computerized auditory training at home four times per week over a two-month period. Significant improvements were observed in sentences comprehension (Hebrew AzBio (HeBio) sentences test) with both four-talker-babble-noise (4TBN) and speech-shaped-noise (SSN) and in words comprehension (consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) words test), following one month of AT. These improvements were sustained for two months after completing the AT. No evidence of spontaneous learning was observed in the month preceding training, nor was there an additional training effect in the additional month. Participants’ baseline speech perception abilities predicted their post-training speech perception improvements in the generalization tasks. The findings suggest that top-down generalization occurs from sentences to words and from babble noise to SSN and quiet conditions. Consequently, synthetic training tasks focusing on sentence-level comprehension accompanied by multi-talker babble noise should be prioritized. Moreover, an individualized approach to AT has demonstrated effectiveness and should be considered in both clinical and research settings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9126
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Volume13
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.

Funding

This research was funded by Ariel University’s Center for Aging Studies #RA1900000488.

FundersFunder number
Ariel University1900000488

    Keywords

    • aging
    • auditory training hearing impairment
    • generalization
    • speech perception

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