The Development of Recorded Auditory Tests for Measuring Hearing Loss for Speech

The Laryngoscope (Impact Factor: 2.14). 01/1947; 57(1):57-89. DOI: 10.1288/00005537-194701000-00005
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    • "The most important criterion for selecting words, according to Hudgins and Hawkins (1947), was homogeneity with regard to basic audibility, i.e., the words should yield equal perception scores when spoken at a constant level by a normal speaker. Hudgins and Hawkins (1947) suggested that a steeper slope of the performance intensity function reflected greater homogeneity among the words and better precision in graphically obtaining the 50% threshold. The first 42 spondaic word lists were later reduced to the 36 most familiar words by Hirsh et al. (1952). "
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    ABSTRACT: Top-down contextual influences play a major part in speech understanding, especially in hearing-impaired patients with deteriorated auditory input. Those influences are most obvious in difficult listening situations, such as listening to sentences in noise but can also be observed at the word level under more favorable conditions, as in one of the most commonly used tasks in audiology, i.e., repeating isolated words in silence. This study aimed to explore the role of top-down contextual influences and their dependence on lexical factors and patient-specific factors using standard clinical linguistic material. Spondaic word perception was tested in 160 hearing-impaired patients aged 23 to 88 years with a four-frequency average pure-tone threshold ranging from 21 to 88 dB HL. Sixty spondaic words were randomly presented at a level adjusted to correspond to a speech perception score ranging between 40% and 70% of the performance intensity function obtained using monosyllabic words. Phoneme and whole-word recognition scores were used to calculate two context-influence indices (the j factor and the ratio of word scores to phonemic scores) and were correlated with linguistic factors, such as the phonological neighborhood density and several indices of word occurrence frequencies. Contextual influence was greater for spondaic words than in similar studies using monosyllabic words, with an overall j factor of 2.07 (SD=0.5). For both indices, context use decreased with increasing hearing loss once the average hearing loss exceeded 55 dB HL. In right-handed patients, significantly greater context influence was observed for words presented in the right ears than for words presented in the left, especially in patients with many years of education. The correlations between raw word scores (and context influence indices) and word occurrence frequencies showed a significant age-dependent effect, with a stronger correlation between perception scores and word occurrence frequencies when the occurrence frequencies were based on the years corresponding to the patients’ youth, showing a “historic” word frequency effect. This effect was still observed for patients with few years of formal education, but recent occurrence frequencies based on current word exposure had a stronger influence for those patients, especially for younger ones.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Frontiers in Neuroscience
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    • "In 2006, the author generated a list of English spondaic words following Hudgins et al.'s (1947) guidelines. These words were selected from common everyday South African English words (Durrant, 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: The home language of most audiologists in South Africa is either English or Afrikaans, whereas most South Africans speak an African language as their home language. The use of an English wordlist, the South African Spondaic (SAS) wordlist, which is familiar to the English Second Language (ESL) population, was developed by the author for testing the speech recognition threshold (SRT) of ESL speakers. The aim of this study was to compare the pure-tone average (PTA)/SRT correlation results of ESL participants when using the SAS wordlist (list A) and the CID W-1 spondaic wordlist (list B - less familiar; list C - more familiar CID W-1 words). A mixed-group correlational, quantitative design was adopted. PTA and SRT measurements were compared for lists A, B and C for 101 (197 ears) ESL participants with normal hearing or a minimal hearing loss (<26 dBHL; mean age 33.3). The Pearson correlation analysis revealed a strong PTA/SRT correlation when using list A (right 0.65; left 0.58) and list C (right 0.63; left 0.56). The use of list B revealed weak correlations (right 0.30; left 0.32). Paired sample t-tests indicated a statistically significantly stronger PTA/SRT correlation when list A was used, rather than list B or list C, at a 95% level of confidence. The use of the SAS wordlist yielded a stronger PTA/SRT correlation than the use of the CID W-1 wordlist, when performing SRT testing on South African ESL speakers with normal hearing, or minimal hearing loss (<26 dBHL).
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · The South African journal of communication disorders. Die Suid-Afrikaanse tydskrif vir Kommunikasieafwykings
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    • "Additionally, the majority of psychophysical studies on vestibular function in humans with normal vestibular abilities have focused on detection thresholds (Benson, Hutt, & Brown, 1989; Gianna, Heimbrand, & Gresty, 1996; Grabherr, Nicoucar, Mast, & Merfeld, 2008) although recently there has been more research dedicated to evaluating discrimination thresholds (MacNeilage, Banks, DeAngelis, & Angelaki, 2010; Mallery et al., 2010). The finding in the present study that more information was provided by the addition of discrimination thresholds, in tandem with detection thresholds, has been welldocumented in previous studies of auditory function (Erber, 1982; Hudgins, Hawkins, Kaklin, & Stevens, 1947;Thibodeau, 2007). To truly evaluate a person's auditory ability, it is important to not only obtain a person's detection thresholds across a range of frequencies, but also to measure how the person is able to use those thresholds to understand more real-world applicable stimuli, such as a speech stimulus. "

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