The influence of semanically related and unrelated text cues on the intelligibility of sentences in noice
2011 (English)In: Ear and Hearing, ISSN 0196-0202, E-ISSN 1538-4667, Vol. 32, no 6, 16-25 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Objectives: In two experiments with different subject groups, we explored the relationship between semantic context and intelligibility by examining the influence of visually presented, semantically related, and unrelated three-word text cues on perception of spoken sentences in stationary noise across a range of speech-to-noise ratios (SNRs). In addition, in Experiment (Exp) 2, we explored the relationship between individual differences in cognitive factors and the effect of the cues on speech intelligibility.
Design: In Exp 1, cues had been generated by participants themselves in a previous test session (own) or by someone else (alien). These cues were either appropriate for that sentence (match) or for a different sentence (mismatch). A condition with nonword cues, generated by the experimenter, served as a control. Experimental sentences were presented at three SNRs (dB SNR) corresponding to the entirely correct repetition of 29%, 50%, or 71% of sentences (speech reception thresholds; SRTs). In Exp 2, semantically matching or mismatching cues and nonword cues were presented before sentences at SNRs corresponding to SRTs of 16% and 29%. The participants in Exp 2 also performed tests of verbal working memory capacity and the ability to read partially masked text.
Results: In Exp 1, matching cues improved perception relative to the nonword and mismatching cues, with largest benefits at the SNR corresponding to 29% performance in the SRT task. Mismatching cues did not impair speech perception relative to the nonword cue condition, and no difference in the effect of own and alien matching cues was observed. In Exp 2, matching cues improved speech perception as measured using both the percentage of correctly reported words and the percentage of entirely correctly reported sentences. Mismatching cues reduced the percentage of repeated words (but not the sentence-based scores) compared with the nonword cue condition. Working memory capacity and ability to read partly masked sentences were positively associated with the number of sentences repeated entirely correctly in the mismatch condition at the 29% SNR.
Conclusions: In difficult listening conditions, both relevant and irrelevant semantic context can influence speech perception in noise. High working memory capacity and good linguistic skills are associated with a greater ability to inhibit irrelevant context when uncued sentence intelligibility is around 29% correct.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 32, no 6, 16-25 p.
National CategorySocial Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-79059DOI: 10.1097/AUD.0b013e318228036aOAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-79059DiVA: diva2:538039