Astrid van Wieringen

KU Leuven, Leuven, VLG, Belgium

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Publications (66)135.74 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Objective: A Dutch matrix sentence test was developed and evaluated. A matrix test is a speech-in-noise test based on a closed speech corpus of sentences derived from words from fixed categories. An example is "Mark gives five large flowers." Design: This report consists of the development of the speech test and a multi-center evaluation. Study sample: Forty-five normal-hearing participants. Results: The developed matrix test has a speech reception threshold in stationary noise of - 8.4 dB with an inter-list standard deviation of 0.2 dB. The slope of the intelligibility function is 10.2 %/dB and this is slightly lower than that of similar tests in other languages (12.6 to 17.1 %/dB). Conclusions: The matrix test is now also available in Dutch and can be used in both Flanders and the Netherlands.
    International journal of audiology. 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Recently, the digit triplet test was shown to be a sensitive speech-in-noise test for early high-frequency hearing loss in noise-exposed workers. This study investigates if a further improvement is achieved when using a closed set of consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) speech items with the same vowel, and/or a low-pass (LP) filtered version of the standard speech-shaped noise. Design: Speech reception thresholds in noise were gathered for the digit triplet, CVC, and CVC_LP test and compared to the high-frequency pure-tone average (PTA). Study sample: 118 noise-exposed workers showing a wide range of high-frequency hearing losses. Results: For the 84 Dutch-speaking participants, the CVC test showed an increased measurement error and a decreased between-subject variation, leading to a weaker correlation with the PTA2,3,4,6 (R = 0.64) and thus a lower sensitivity compared to the digit triplet test (R = 0.86). However, the use of LP-filtered noise resulted in a sensitivity improvement (R = 0.79 versus R = 0.64) due to the large increase in between-subject spread. Similar trends were found for the 34 French-speaking workers. Conclusions: Using CVC words with the same vowel could not increase the sensitivity to detect isolated high-frequency hearing loss. With LP-filtered noise, test sensitivity improved, but it did not surpass the original digit triplet test.
    International journal of audiology 11/2013; · 1.34 Impact Factor
  • Sofie Jansen, Raphael Koning, Jan Wouters, Astrid van Wieringen
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: In addition to the LIST with a female speaker ( van Wieringen & Wouters, 2008 ), a new speech perception test with a male voice was developed and validated, for evaluating the intelligibility performance of cochlear implant (CI) users or severely hearing-impaired persons. Design: Three experimental steps were carried out: (1) a perceptual optimization of the recorded materials, (2) an evaluation in normal-hearing (NH) listeners, and (3) a validation in CI-users. Measurements were performed both in quiet and in noise. Study sample: Forty-four NH subjects and six CI-users participated. Results: After selecting the sentences with a similar intelligibility, the reference psychometric curve for NH listeners was determined, showing steep slopes for measurements in quiet (12.3%/dB) and in noise (18.7%/dB), similar to the LIST with female voice. The 38 lists of 10 sentences yielded equal scores, and the within-subject test-retest reliability was high (1.7 dB in quiet, 1.1 dB in noise). For the CI-users, parallel psychometric curves were found between the LIST with male and female voice. Conclusions: The LIST-m is a reliable and valid speech intelligibility test that can be used for CI-users, both in quiet and in noise.
    International journal of audiology 10/2013; · 1.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cochlear implants have a significant positive effect on spoken language development in severely hearing impaired children. Previous work in this population has focused mostly on the emergence of early-developing language skills, such as vocabulary. The current study aims at comparing narratives, which are more complex and later-developing spoken language skills, of a contemporary group of profoundly deaf school-aged children using cochlear implants (n=66, median age=8 years 3 months) with matched normal hearing peers. Results show that children with cochlear implants demonstrate good results on quantity and coherence of the utterances, but problematic outcomes on quality, content and efficiency of retold stories. However, for a subgroup (n=20, median age=8 years 1 month) of deaf children without additional disabilities who receive cochlear implantation before the age of 2 years, use two implants, and are raised with one spoken language, age-adequate spoken narrative skills at school-age are feasible. This is the first study to set the goals regarding spoken narrative skills for deaf children using cochlear implants.
    Research in developmental disabilities 09/2013; 34(11):3833-3846. · 4.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES:: Hearing screening in occupational medicine is generally based on pure-tone threshold audiometry. However, reliable and valid thresholds can only be obtained in a sound-proof room, using a high-quality, well-calibrated audiometer, and by a well-trained administrator. Thresholds also need to be determined for several audiometric frequencies. This makes the test time-consuming and expensive, which is not ideal for the screening of large populations. A Speech-In-Noise test (SPIN), by contrast, does not have the abovementioned requirements. Because it can be implemented as a quick automated self-test, possibly over the Internet, a SPIN test is highly advantageous for screening purposes. However, its sensitivity for (isolated) high-frequency hearing loss, as typically seen in noise-exposed listeners, was unclear up to present. In this study, the authors investigated the sensitivity and specificity of the Digit Triplet SPIN test for detecting and monitoring (early-stage) high-frequency hearing loss, and its similarity across two different language versions. DESIGN:: One-hundred eighteen noise-exposed workers, representing a wide range from no to severe high-frequency hearing loss, completed the French or Dutch version of the broadband Digit Triplet self-test in an office-like room. Pure-tone thresholds, collected by a professional audiologist in favorable settings, served as the reference. RESULTS:: The 84 Dutch-speaking participants showed a very strong linear relation between the reference and the Digit Triplet test, with the pure-tone average at 2, 3, 4, and 6 kHz as a strong predictor (R = 0.86) for the speech-reception threshold. The sensitivity and specificity to detect mild high-frequency hearing loss were 92% (61 of 66) and 89% (16 of 18), respectively. The area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was very high (≥0.91) for several degrees of high-frequency hearing loss. With a within-subject standard deviation of only 0.8 dB, the Digit Triplet test also had a low measurement error. The results of the 34 French-speaking subjects showed a highly similar trend. CONCLUSIONS:: The Digit Triplet test proves to have a high sensitivity and specificity for detecting different degrees of high-frequency hearing loss. Given its ease of use, this test is very suitable for screening purposes in occupational medicine, and potentially for the screening of adolescents at risk of recreational noise-induced hearing loss.
    Ear and hearing 06/2013; · 2.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Practical experience and research reveal generic spoken language benefits after cochlear implantation. However, systematic research on specific language domains and error analyses are required to probe sub-skills. Moreover, the effect of predictive factors on distinct language domains is unknown. In this study, outcomes of 70 school-aged children with cochlear implants were compared with hearing peers. Approximately half of the children with cochlear implants achieved age-adequate language levels. Results did not reveal systematic strong or weak language domains. Error analyses showed difficulties with morphological and syntactic rules and inefficient narrative skills. Children without additional disabilities who received early intervention were raised with one spoken language, and used a second cochlear implant or contralateral hearing aid were more likely to present good language skills.
    Research in developmental disabilities 04/2013; 34(6):2008-2022. · 4.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent behavioral studies have suggested that the human auditory nerve of cochlear implant (CI) users is mainly excited by the positive (anodic) polarity. Those findings were only obtained using asymmetric pseudomonophasic (PS) pulses where the effect of one phase was measured in the presence of a counteracting phase of opposite polarity, longer duration, and lower amplitude than the former phase. It was assumed that only the short high-amplitude phase was responsible for the excitation. Similarly, it has been shown that electrically evoked compound action potentials could only be obtained in response to the anodic phases of asymmetric pulses. Here, experiment 1 measured electrically evoked auditory brainstem responses to standard symmetric, PS, reversed pseudomonophasic, and reversed pseudomonophasic with inter-phase gap (6 ms) pulses presented for both polarities. Responses were time locked to the short high-amplitude phase of asymmetric pulses and were smaller, but still measurable, when that phase was cathodic than when it was anodic. This provides the first evidence that cathodic stimulation can excite the auditory system of human CI listeners and confirms that this stimulation is nevertheless less effective than for the anodic polarity. A second experiment studied the polarity sensitivity at different intensities by means of a loudness balancing task between pseudomonophasic anodic (PSA) and pseudomonophasic cathodic (PSC) stimuli. Previous studies had demonstrated greater sensitivity to anodic stimulation only for stimuli producing loud percepts. The results showed that PSC stimuli required higher amplitudes than PSA stimuli to reach the same loudness and that this held for current levels ranging from 10 to 100 % of the dynamic range.
    Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology 03/2013; · 2.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study retrospectively evaluates the effect of newborn hearing screening on age at diagnosis, age at cochlear implantation and spoken language development in severely hearing-impaired children. Age at diagnosis, age at cochlear implantation and language development were evaluated in a group of early screened (n = 149) and a group of late screened (n = 139) severely hearing-impaired children. Language outcomes were quantified as language quotients (LQs) on the Reynell Developmental Language Scales and Schlichting Expressive Language Test at 1,2, and 3 years after cochlear implantation. Early screened children were significantly younger than late screened children at the time of hearing loss diagnosis and cochlear implantation. Furthermore, early screening was associated with better receptive and expressive spoken language skills after cochlear implantation. The results of this retrospective study indicate that the newborn hearing screening program in Flanders and The Netherlands resulted in earlier intervention in deaf children, which beneficially influenced spoken language development.
    B-ENT 01/2013; Suppl 21:91-8. · 0.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In Cochlear Implants (CI) Bipolar (BP) electrical stimulation has been suggested as a method to reduce the spread of current along the cochlea. However, behavioral measurements in BP mode have shown either similar or worse performance than in Monopolar (MP) mode. This could be explained by a bimodal excitation pattern, with two main excitation peaks at the sites of the stimulating electrodes. We measured the Spread of Excitation (SOE) by means of the Electrically Evoked Compound Action Potential (ECAP), obtained using the forward-masked paradigm. The aim was to measure the bimodality of the excitation and to determine whether it could be reduced by using asymmetric pulses. Three types of maskers shapes were used: Symmetric (SYM), Pseudomonophasic (PS), and Symmetric with a long Inter-Phase Gap (SYM-IPG) pulses. Maskers were presented in BP + 9 (wide), BP + 3 (narrow) and MP (only SYM) mode on fixed electrodes. The SOE obtained with the MP masker showed a main excitation peak close to the masker electrode. Wide SYM maskers produced bimodal excitation patterns showing two peaks close to the electrodes of the masker channel, whereas SYM-IPG maskers showed a single main peak near the electrode for which the masker's second phase (responsible for most of the masking) was anodic. Narrow SYM maskers showed complex and wider excitation patterns than asymmetric stimuli consistent with the overlap of the patterns produced by each channel's electrodes. The masking produced by narrow SYM-IPG and PS stimuli was more pronounced close to the masker electrode for which the effective phase was anodic. These results showed that the anodic polarity is the most effective one in BP mode and that the bimodal patterns produced by SYM maskers could be partially reduced by using asymmetric pulses.
    Hearing research 05/2012; 290(1-2):21-36. · 2.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: : The goals of the present study were twofold: in the first part, the prevalence and profile of hearing disability in healthy, middle-aged persons were determined by the speech, spatial, and qualities of hearing scale (SSQ). In the second part of this study, the number of SSQ items was reduced to five to make this questionnaire available for routine usage in clinical settings and for screening purposes. : SSQ responses derived from 103 normal-hearing 18- to 25-year-old persons were compared with the SSQ responses of 24 clinically normal-hearing (all thresholds between 125 and 8000 Hz ≤25 dB HL) and 109 healthy, 55- to 65-year-old persons with age-related hearing impairment to determine the prevalence and profile of hearing disability. The 45 items of the SSQ were reduced to five by cluster analyses and binary logistic regression analyses. The robustness of this five-item version (SSQ5) was determined in three control populations: an adult 25- to 55-year-old population (n = 159), an ENT-patient population (n = 60), and a population of hearing aid candidates (n = 50). The feasibility of the SSQ5 for screening was compared with the feasibility of the simple question "Do you have hearing loss?" by determining, respectively, the sensitivity, specificity, and maximum achievable discriminatory power for predicting hearing status according to speech-in-noise performance. : Prevalence numbers showed data of healthy, middle-aged persons with significant disability, despite minimal impairment (25%) versus data of middle-aged persons with significant impairment and nevertheless, minimal disability (61%). The profile of hearing disability seemed similar in all normal-hearing and hearing-impaired subgroups (i.e., most problems with understanding speech especially in noise conditions, and least problems with sound quality). Compared with the single question: "Do you have hearing loss?" the use of the SSQ5 had 37% more maximum discriminatory power for determining hearing status category based on speech-in-noise performance in 55- to 65-year-old persons. In addition, the SSQ5 seemed robust in adult populations of different ages (89.6% correlation between the answers of the SSQ5 and SSQ45), as well as in ENT-patient populations (93.7% correlation) and hearing aid candidate populations (79.2% correlation). : The results of this study suggest that disability measures and measures for hearing impairment cannot replace each other, but are complementary. Therefore, it is advised to implement both disability measures and impairment measures in screening and referral policies for hearing loss. To get a first impression of hearing disability, our results suggest that it is useful to ask five disability questions (SSQ5) instead of one general question like "Do you have hearing loss?"
    Ear and hearing 05/2012; 33(5):615-6. · 2.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although deaf children with cochlear implants (CIs) are able to develop good language skills, the large variability in outcomes remains a significant concern. The first aim of this study was to evaluate language skills in children with CIs to establish benchmarks. The second aim was to make an estimation of the optimal age at implantation to provide maximal opportunities for the child to achieve good language skills afterward. The third aim was to gain more insight into the causes of variability to set recommendations for optimizing the rehabilitation process of prelingually deaf children with CIs. Receptive and expressive language development of 288 children who received CIs by age five was analyzed in a retrospective multicenter study. Outcome measures were language quotients (LQs) on the Reynell Developmental Language Scales and Schlichting Expressive Language Test at 1, 2, and 3 years after implantation. Independent predictive variables were nine child-related, environmental, and auditory factors. A series of multiple regression analyses determined the amount of variance in expressive and receptive language outcomes attributable to each predictor when controlling for the other variables. Simple linear regressions with age at first fitting and independent samples t tests demonstrated that children implanted before the age of two performed significantly better on all tests than children who were implanted at an older age. The mean LQ was 0.78 with an SD of 0.18. A child with an LQ lower than 0.60 (= 0.78-0.18) within 3 years after implantation was labeled as a weak performer compared with other deaf children implanted before the age of two. Contralateral stimulation with a second CI or a hearing aid and the absence of additional disabilities were related to better language outcomes. The effect of environmental factors, comprising multilingualism, parental involvement, and communication mode increased over time. Three years after implantation, the total multiple regression model accounted for 52% of the variance in receptive language scores and 58% of the variance in expressive language scores. On the basis of language test scores of this large group of children, an LQ of 0.60 or lower was considered a risk criterion for problematic language development compared with other deaf children using CIs. Children attaining LQs below 0.60 should be monitored more closely and perhaps their rehabilitation programs should be reconsidered. Improved language outcomes were related to implantation under the age of two, contralateral stimulation, monolingualism, sufficient involvement of the parents, and oral communication by the parents. The presence of an additional learning disability had a negative influence on language development. Understanding these causes of variation can help clinicians and parents to create the best possible circumstances for children with CIs to acquire language.
    Ear and hearing 05/2012; 33(5):617-39. · 2.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Electrically evoked compound action potentials (ECAPs) are widely used to study the excitability of the auditory nerve and stimulation properties in cochlear implant (CI) users. However, ECAP detection can be difficult and very subjective at near-threshold stimulation levels or in spread of excitation measurements. In this study, we evaluated the statistical properties of the background noise (BN) and the postaverage residual noise (RN) in ECAP measurements in order to determine an objective detection criterion. For the estimation of the BN and the RN, a method currently used in auditory brainstem response measurements was applied. The potential benefit of using weighted (Bayesian) averages was also examined. All estimations were performed with a set of approximately 360 ECAP measurements recorded from five human CI users of the CII or HiRes90K device (advanced bionics). Results demonstrated that the BN was normally distributed and the RN decreased according to the square root of the number of averages. No additional benefit was observed by using weighted averaging. The noise was not significantly different either at different stimulation intensities or across recording electrodes along the cochlea. The analysis of the statistical properties of the noise indicated that a signal-to-noise ratio of 1.7 dB as a detection criterion corresponds to a false positive detection rate of 1% with the used measurement setup.
    IEEE transactions on bio-medical engineering 04/2012; 59(7):1912-23. · 2.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neurogenic stuttering is an acquired speech disorder characterized by the occurrence of stuttering-like dysfluencies following brain damage. Because the onset of stuttering in these patients is associated with brain lesions, this condition provides a unique opportunity to study the neural processes underlying speech dysfluencies. Lesion localizations of 20 stroke subjects with neurogenic stuttering and 17 control subjects were compared using voxel-based lesion symptom mapping. The results showed nine left-hemisphere areas associated with the presence of neurogenic stuttering. These areas were largely overlapping with the cortico-basal ganglia-cortical network comprising the inferior frontal cortex, superior temporal cortex, intraparietal cortex, basal ganglia, and their white matter interconnections through the superior longitudinal fasciculus and internal capsule. These results indicated that stroke-induced neurogenic stuttering is not associated with neural dysfunction in one specific brain area but can occur following one or more lesion throughout the cortico-basal ganglia-cortical network. It is suggested that the onset of neurogenic stuttering in stroke subjects results from a disintegration of neural functions necessary for fluent speech. Hum Brain Mapp, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Human Brain Mapping 03/2012; · 6.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A cochlear implant (CI) signal processing strategy named F0 modulation (F0mod) was compared with the advanced combination encoder (ACE) strategy in a group of four post-lingually deafened Mandarin Chinese speaking CI listeners. F0 provides an enhanced temporal pitch cue by amplitude modulating the multichannel electrical stimulation pattern at the fundamental frequency (F0) of the incoming speech signal. Word and sentence recognition tests were carried out in quiet and in noise. The responses for the word-recognition test were further segmented into phoneme and tone scores. Off-line implementations of ACE and F0mod were used, and electrical stimulation patterns were directly streamed to the CI subject's implant. To focus on the feasibility of enhanced temporal cues for tonal language perception, idealized F0 information that was extracted from speech tokens in quiet was used in the F0mod processing of speech-in-noise mixtures. The results indicated significantly better lexical tone perception with the F0mod strategy than with ACE for the male voice (p<0.05). No significant differences in sentence recognition were found between F0mod and ACE.
    Hearing research 02/2012; 285(1-2):1-12. · 2.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To examine spoken language outcomes in children undergoing bilateral cochlear implantation compared with matched peers undergoing unilateral implantation. Case-control, frequency-matched, retrospective cross-sectional multicenter study. Two Belgian and 3 Dutch cochlear implantation centers. Twenty-five children with 1 cochlear implant matched with 25 children with 2 cochlear implants selected from a retrospective sample of 288 children who underwent cochlear implantation before 5 years of age. Cochlear implantation. Performance on measures of spoken language comprehension and expression (Reynell Developmental Language Scales and Schlichting Expressive Language Test). On the receptive language tests (mean difference [95% CI], 9.4 [0.3-18.6]) and expressive language tests (15.7 [5.9-25.4] and 9.7 [1.5-17.9]), children undergoing bilateral implantation performed significantly better than those undergoing unilateral implantation. Because the 2 groups were matched with great care on 10 auditory, child, and environmental factors, the difference in performance can be mainly attributed to the bilateral implantation. A shorter interval between both implantations was related to higher standard scores. Children undergoing 2 simultaneous cochlear implantations performed better on the expressive Word Development Test than did children undergoing 2 sequential cochlear implantations. The use of bilateral cochlear implants is associated with better spoken language learning. The interval between the first and second implantation correlates negatively with language scores. On expressive language development, we find an advantage for simultaneous compared with sequential implantation.
    JAMA Pediatrics 01/2012; 166(1):28-34. · 4.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To compare results on the everyday sentence test 'FIST', the new closed-set sentence test 'FrMatrix', and the digit triplet screening test 'FrDigit3'. First, the FrMatrix was developed and normative values were obtained. Subsequently, speech reception thresholds (SRTs) for the three types of tests were gathered at four study centers representing different geographic regions in Belgium and France. Fifty-seven normal-hearing listeners took part in the normative study of the FrMatrix, and 118 subjects, with a wide range of hearing thresholds, participated in the comparative study. Homogenizing the individual words of the FrMatrix with regard to their intelligibility resulted in a reference SRT of -6.0 (±0.6) dB SNR and slope at the SRT of 14.0 %/dB. The within-subject variability was only 0.4 dB. Comparison of the three tests showed high correlations between the SRTs mutually (>0.81). The FrMatrix had the highest discriminative power, both in stationary and in fluctuating noise. For all three tests, differences across the participating study centers were small and not significant. The FIST, the FrMatrix, and the FrDigit3 provide similar results and reliably evaluate speech recognition performance in noise both in normal-hearing and hearing-impaired listeners.
    International journal of audiology 11/2011; 51(3):164-73. · 1.34 Impact Factor
  • C Theys, A van Wieringen, S Sunaert, V Thijs, L F De Nil
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    ABSTRACT: In this prospective study, data on incidence, stuttering characteristics, co-occurring speech disorders, and recovery of neurogenic stuttering in a large sample of stroke participants were assessed. Following stroke onset, 17 of 319 participants (5.3%; 95% CI, 3.2-8.3) met the criteria for neurogenic stuttering. Stuttering persisted in at least 2.5% (95% CI, 1.1-4.7) for more than six months following the stroke. Participants with comorbid aphasia presented with a significantly higher frequency of stuttering compared to the group without aphasia (U=13.00, p((1-tailed))=.02) but no difference was found for participants with co-occurring dysarthria and/or cognitive problems. Participants with neurogenic stuttering did not differ from those without stuttering in terms of stroke risk factors or stroke etiologic subtypes. Although the incidence of stuttering following stroke is lower than that for aphasia or dysarthria, these results show that clinicians should take neurogenic stuttering into account when assessing stroke participants' speech and language. LEARNING OUTCOMES: : Readers will be able to: (1) understand the need for systematic, prospective studies in neurogenic stuttering; (2) know the incidence and prevalence of neurogenic stuttering following stroke; and (3) know how neurogenic stuttering co-occurs with other speech-language disorders following stroke.
    Journal of Communication Disorders 07/2011; 44(6):678-87. · 1.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Previous work suggests that bilateral cochlear implant users are sensitive to interaural cues if experimental speech processors are used to preserve accurate interaural information in the electrical stimulation pattern. Binaural unmasking occurs in adults and children when an interaural delay is applied to the envelope of a high-rate pulse train. Nevertheless, for speech perception, binaural unmasking benefits have not been demonstrated consistently, even with coordinated stimulation at both ears. The present study aimed at bridging the gap between basic psychophysical performance on binaural signal detection tasks on the one hand and binaural perception of speech in noise on the other hand. Therefore, binaural signal detection was expanded to multi-channel stimulation and biologically relevant interaural delays. A harmonic complex, consisting of three sinusoids (125, 250, and 375 Hz), was added to three 125-Hz-wide noise bands centered on the sinusoids. When an interaural delay of 700 μs was introduced, an average BMLD of 3 dB was established. Outcomes are promising in view of real-life benefits. Future research should investigate the generalization of the observed benefits for signal detection to speech perception in everyday listening situations and determine the importance of coordination of bilateral speech processors and accentuation of envelope cues.
    Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology 06/2011; 12(5):659-70. · 2.95 Impact Factor
  • A van Wieringen, K De Voecht, A J Bosman, J Wouters
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    ABSTRACT: To examine sentence recognition and self-report outcomes in hearing-impaired persons with different auditory profiles and who were fitted unilaterally with a bone-anchored hearing aid. Prospective cohort study. Tertiary referral unit. Data were collected of six patients with single-sided deafness (SSD), seven with a mild to severe hearing loss at the bone-anchored hearing aid side and (near-)normal hearing at the other side and six with a severe bilateral hearing loss. Sound field thresholds, and sentence recognition in noise (presented from different angles) with bone-anchored hearing aid, without bone-anchored hearing aid and with bone-anchored hearing aid and other ear occluded. In addition, the Speech, Spatial and Qualities of hearing scale and the Abbreviated Profile of Hearing Aid Benefit questionnaire were administered as self-report measures. Patients with single-sided deafness listened mainly with their non-bone-anchored hearing aid ear, although the bone-anchored hearing aid lifted the head shadow effect. Patients with mild to severe hearing loss at the bone-anchored hearing aid side and (near-)normal hearing at the other side performed significantly differently in aided and unaided conditions and even regained limited binaural sensitivity with the device. The latter was also true for the patients with severe bilateral hearing loss. However, their hearing loss at the non-bone-anchored hearing aid side was too great to contribute to hearing and they listened predominantly with their bone-anchored hearing aid. Self-report outcomes provided useful information on hearing disability, although this information was not significantly differently for the 3 groups of patients. The bone-anchored hearing aid enhanced performance in different hearing configurations, albeit to different extents.
    Clinical otolaryngology: official journal of ENT-UK; official journal of Netherlands Society for Oto-Rhino-Laryngology & Cervico-Facial Surgery 03/2011; 36(2):114-20. · 1.87 Impact Factor
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    Tom Francart, Astrid van Wieringen, Jan Wouters
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate the extent to which temporal gaps, temporal fine structure, and comprehensibility of the masker affect masking strength in speech recognition experiments. Seven different masker types with Dutch speech materials were evaluated. Amongst these maskers were the ICRA-5 fluctuating noise, the international speech test signal (ISTS), and competing talkers in Dutch and Swedish. Normal-hearing and hearing-impaired subjects. The normal-hearing subjects benefited from both temporal gaps and temporal fine structure in the fluctuating maskers. When the competing talker was comprehensible, performance decreased. The ISTS masker appeared to cause a large informational masking component. The stationary maskers yielded the steepest slopes of the psychometric function, followed by the modulated noises, followed by the competing talkers. Although the hearing-impaired group was heterogeneous, their data showed similar tendencies, but sometimes to a lesser extent, depending on individuals' hearing impairment. If measurement time is of primary concern non-modulated maskers are advised. If it is useful to assess release of masking by the use of temporal gaps, a fluctuating noise is advised. If perception of temporal fine structure is being investigated, a foreign-language competing talker is advised.
    International journal of audiology 01/2011; 50(1):2-13. · 1.34 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

872 Citations
135.74 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1999–2013
    • KU Leuven
      • Department of Neurosciences
      Leuven, VLG, Belgium
  • 2009–2010
    • University of Antwerp
      • • Medische Genetica (MEDGEN)
      • • Faculteit Geneeskunde en Gezondheidswetenschappen
      Antwerpen, VLG, Belgium
  • 2008–2010
    • University of Cambridge
      Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
  • 2002–2005
    • MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit
      Cambridge, England, United Kingdom