EEG Responses to auditory figure-ground perception

Guo, X., Dheerendra, P. , Benzaquen, E., Sedley, W. and Griffiths, T. D. (2022) EEG Responses to auditory figure-ground perception. Hearing Research, 422, 108524. (doi: 10.1016/j.heares.2022.108524) (PMID:35691269)

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Speech-in-noise difficulty is commonly reported among hearing-impaired individuals. Recent work has established generic behavioural measures of sound segregation and grouping that are related to speech-in-noise processing but do not require language. In this study, we assessed potential clinical electroencephalographic (EEG) measures of central auditory grouping (stochastic figure-ground test) and speech-in-noise perception (speech-in-babble test) with and without relevant tasks. Auditory targets were presented within background noise (16 talker-babble or randomly generated pure-tones) in 50% of the trials and composed either a figure (pure-tone frequency chords repeating over time) or speech (English names), while the rest of the trials only had background noise. EEG was recorded while participants were presented with the target stimuli (figure or speech) under different attentional states (relevant task or visual-distractor task). EEG time-domain analysis demonstrated enhanced negative responses during detection of both types of auditory targets within the time window 150-350 ms but only figure detection produced significantly enhanced responses under the distracted condition. Further single-channel analysis showed that simple vertex-to-mastoid acquisition defines a very similar response to more complex arrays based on multiple channels. Evoked-potentials to the generic figure-ground task therefore represent a potential clinical measure of grouping relevant to real-world listening that can be assessed irrespective of language knowledge and expertise even without a relevant task.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust [grant number WT106964MA], MRC [grant number MR/T032553/1] and NIH [P50 DC000242].
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Dheerendra, Dr Pradeep
Creator Roles:
Dheerendra, P.Conceptualization, Formal analysis, Methodology, Funding acquisition, Project administration, Supervision, Writing – review and editing
Authors: Guo, X., Dheerendra, P., Benzaquen, E., Sedley, W., and Griffiths, T. D.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:Hearing Research
ISSN (Online):1878-5891
Published Online:16 May 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Authors
First Published:First published in Hearing Research 422:108524
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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