Improving speech intelligibility for elderly listeners by steady-state suppression

International Workshop on Frontiers in Speech and Hearing Research, Technical Report of IEICE Japan, Vol. SP2005-168, pp. 31-36, 2006

Improving speech intelligibility for elderly listeners by steady-state suppression

K. Kobayashi, Y. Hatta, K. Yasu, S. Minamihata, N. Hodoshima, T. Arai and M. Shindo

Abstract: Many individuals experience some degree of hearing loss as they age. In previous studies, Arai et al. (2001, 2002) reported that steady-state suppression of speech improves speech intelligibility in reverberant environments. Steady-state portions are defined as those having more energy, but which are less crucial for speech perception. Kobayashi et al. (2005) confirmed the possibility of consonant enhancement for improved intelligibility when using a hearing aid and the results indicated that intelligibility of a monosyllable was improved with significant difference for 50 elderly listeners. In the present study, we also investigated whether intelligibility of words and monosyllables in speech and intelligibility of monosyllables co-occurring with stationary noise was improved for 23 elderly listeners by consonant enhancement using the steady-state suppression. The results indicated that the intelligibility of a monosyllable in speech was improved in individuals with hearing impairment and the intelligibility of a word might be relatively effective to the degradation of their hearing levels.

Keywords: Speech Intelligibility, Consonant enhancement, Hearing impairment, Steady-state suppression, Elderly people, Hearing aid

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