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Cognitive processing load during listening is reduced more by decreasing voice similarity than by increasing spatial separation between target and masker speech
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning. VU University Medical Center, ENT/audiology.
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, Linnaeus Centre HEAD.
VU University Medical Center, ENT/audiology.
VU University Medical Center, ENT/audiology.
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2015 (English)Conference paper, Poster (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

We investigated changes in speech recognition and cognitive processing load attributable to decreasing similarity between target and masker speech. We presented masker voices with either the same (female) gender or different gender (male) as the target speech, and/or spatially separated the target and masker speech using HRTFs. We assessed the relation between speech perception performance, the pupil response and cognitive abilities in 24 normal-hearing adults. We hypothesized that the pupil response, a measure of cognitive processing load, would be larger for co-located maskers and for same-gender compared to different-gender maskers. We further expected that better cognitive abilities would be associated with better speech perception and larger pupil responses, as the allocation of larger capacity may result in more intense mental processing.

In line with previous studies, the performance benefit from different-gender compared to same-gender maskers was larger for co-located masker signals. The performance benefit of spatially-separated maskers was larger for same-gender maskers. The pupil response was larger for same-gender than for different-gender maskers, but was not reduced by spatial separation. We observed associations between better perception performance and better working memory, better information updating, and better executive abilities. The pupil response was not associated with cognitive abilities. Thus, although both gender and location differences between target and masker facilitate speech perception, only gender differences lower cognitive processing load. Increasing target-masker voice dissimilarity may facilitate target-speech perception at a later (cognitive) processing stage than increasing spatial separation. The pupil response provides information that complements speech intelligibility data.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
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Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-123287OAI: diva2:881098
Conference on Cognitive Hearing Science for Communication (CHCCOM2015), Linköping, June 14-17, 2015
Available from: 2015-12-09 Created: 2015-12-09 Last updated: 2015-12-17

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Zekveld, AdrianaRudner, MaryRönnberg, Jerker
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Department of Behavioural Sciences and LearningDisability ResearchFaculty of Arts and Sciences
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)

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