Stuckenberg, M. V., Nayak, C. V., Meyer, B. T., Volker, C., Hohmann, V., & Bendixen, A. (2018). Age Effects on Concurrent Speech Segregation by Onset Asynchrony. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 1-13.

Age Effects on Concurrent Speech Segregation by Onset Asynchrony

Purpose: For elderly listeners, it is more challenging to listen to 1 voice surrounded by other voices than for young listeners. This could be caused by a reduced ability to use acoustic cues-such as slight differences in onset time-for the segregation of concurrent speech signals. Here, we study whether the ability to benefit from onset asynchrony differs between young (18-33 years) and elderly (55-74 years) listeners. Method: We investigated young (normal hearing, N = 20) and elderly (mildly hearing impaired, N = 26) listeners' ability to segregate 2 vowels with onset asynchronies ranging from 20 to 100 ms. Behavioral measures were complemented by a specific event-related brain potential component, the object-related negativity, indicating the perception of 2 distinct auditory objects. Results: Elderly listeners' behavioral performance (identification accuracy of the 2 vowels) was considerably poorer than young listeners'. However, both age groups showed the same amount of improvement with increasing onset asynchrony. Object-related negativity amplitude also increased similarly in both age groups. Conclusion: Both age groups benefit to a similar extent from onset asynchrony as a cue for concurrent speech segregation during active (behavioral measurement) and during passive (electroencephalographic measurement) listening.


Cognitive and Biological Psychology

University of Leipzig
Faculty of Life Sciences
Institute of Psychology
Neumarkt 9-19
D-04109 Leipzig


Dagmar Schrödl
Phone: +49 341 97-39570
Email: dagmar dot schroedl at uni-leipzig dot de

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