The Sensitivity of Hearing-Impaired Adults to Acoustic Attributes in Simulated Rooms

Whitmer, W. M. , McShefferty, D. and Akeroyd, M. A. (2013) The Sensitivity of Hearing-Impaired Adults to Acoustic Attributes in Simulated Rooms. In: 21st International Congress on Acoustics (ICA 2013), Montreal, Canada, 2-7 June 2013, 015109. (doi: 10.1121/1.4800243)

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In previous studies we have shown that older hearing-impaired individuals are relatively insensitive to changes in the apparent width of broadband noises when those width changes were based on differences in interaural coherence [W. Whitmer, B. Seeber and M. Akeroyd, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 132, 369-379 (2012)]. This insensitivity has been linked to senescent difficulties in resolving binaural fine-structure differences. It is therefore possible that interaural coherence, despite its widespread use, may not be the best acoustic surrogate of spatial perception for the aged and impaired. To test this, we simulated the room impulse responses for various acoustic scenarios with differing coherence and lateral (energy) fraction attributes using room modelling software (ODEON). Bilaterally impaired adult participants were asked to sketch the perceived size of speech tokens and musical excerpts that were convolved with these impulse responses and presented to them in a sound-dampened enclosure through a 24-loudspeaker array. Participants' binaural acuity was also measured using an interaural phase discrimination task. Corroborating our previous findings, the results showed less sensitivity to interaural coherence in the auditory source width judgments of older hearing-impaired individuals, indicating that alternate acoustic measurements in the design of spaces for the elderly may be necessary.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Whitmer, Dr William and McShefferty, Mr David and Akeroyd, Dr Michael
Authors: Whitmer, W. M., McShefferty, D., and Akeroyd, M. A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2013 The Authors
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher
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