The Auditory Inference Span Test – Developing a test for cognitive aspects of listening effort for speech comprehension
2010 (English)Conference paper (Other academic)
Most hearing aid fittings today are almost solely based on the patient’s audiogram. However, more individual parameters of the patient’s hearing thresholds together with the patient’s cognitive abilities to process the auditory signal are required. Hearing aid fitting may be seen as a process aimed to improve the patient’s hearing thresholds rather than to improve communication ability. Another way to think about hearing aid fitting is to ease the patient’s listening effort. However, it is not clear how to measure the listening effort.
Therefore, we propose the Auditory Inference Span Test (AIST) as a clinical tool during hearing aid fitting to assess the patient’s effort to understand speech. AIST is a combined auditory, memory, and processing test. It relies on the idea that the more cognitive resources that are required to process and understand speech, less cognitive resources are available for storage of the speech information. In AIST, sentences are presented in noise and afterwards the patient is required to recall and process the information from the sentences. Correctness and reaction time is recorded as measurements of perceived listening effort.
Data from piloting tests indicate that the AIST is well suited as a clinical test for listening effort. In a future study to verify that the AIST is sensitive to cognitive capacity, the test will be evaluated with measurements of the subject's cognitive capacity as well as the subject's hearing thresholds. For a clinical test the requirement is that it is fast and easily facilitated. The AIST takes no more than fifteen minutes to complete, and the aim is to further shorten the time and adapt the test for clinical use. This ensures the AIST to be a useable instrument for testing listening effort using the individuals' cognitive spare capacity.
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IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-67108OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-67108DiVA: diva2:407283