Identification of Acoustically Similar and Dissimilar Vowels in Profoundly Deaf Adults Who Use Hearing Aids and/or Cochlear Implants: Some Preliminary Findings Purpose In this study, the authors examined the effects of aging and residual hearing on the identification of acoustically similar and dissimilar vowels in adults with postlingual deafness who use hearing aids (HAs) and/or cochlear implants (CIs). Method The authors used two groups of acoustically similar and dissimilar ... Research Article
Research Article  |   March 01, 2014
Identification of Acoustically Similar and Dissimilar Vowels in Profoundly Deaf Adults Who Use Hearing Aids and/or Cochlear Implants: Some Preliminary Findings
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Marcia J. Hay-McCutcheon
    The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
  • Nathaniel R. Peterson
    Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis
  • Christian A. Rosado
    Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis
  • David B. Pisoni
    Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis
    Indiana University Bloomington
  • Correspondence to Marcia J. Hay-McCutcheon: mhaymccu@as.ua.edu
  • Editor: Larry Humes
    Editor: Larry Humes×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Research Articles
Research Article   |   March 01, 2014
Identification of Acoustically Similar and Dissimilar Vowels in Profoundly Deaf Adults Who Use Hearing Aids and/or Cochlear Implants: Some Preliminary Findings
American Journal of Audiology, March 2014, Vol. 23, 57-70. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2013/13-0009)
History: Received January 30, 2013 , Revised May 12, 2013 , Accepted June 8, 2013
 
American Journal of Audiology, March 2014, Vol. 23, 57-70. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2013/13-0009)
History: Received January 30, 2013; Revised May 12, 2013; Accepted June 8, 2013

Purpose In this study, the authors examined the effects of aging and residual hearing on the identification of acoustically similar and dissimilar vowels in adults with postlingual deafness who use hearing aids (HAs) and/or cochlear implants (CIs).

Method The authors used two groups of acoustically similar and dissimilar vowels to assess vowel identification. Also, the Consonant–Nucleus–Consonant Word Recognition Test (Peterson & Lehiste, 1962) and sentences from the Hearing in Noise Test (Nilsson, Soli, & Sullivan, 1994) were administered. Forty CI recipients with postlingual deafness (ages 31–81 years) participated in the study.

Results Acoustically similar vowels were more difficult to identify than acoustically dissimilar vowels. With increasing age, performance deteriorated when identifying acoustically similar vowels. Vowel identification was also affected by the use of a contralateral HA and the degree of residual hearing prior to implantation. Moderate correlations were found between speech perception and vowel identification performance.

Conclusions Identification performance was affected by the acoustic similarity of the vowels. Older adults experienced more difficulty identifying acoustically similar confusable vowels than did younger adults. The findings might lend support to the ease of language understanding model (Ronnberg, Rudner, Foo, & Lunner, 2008), which proposes that the quality and perceptual robustness of acoustic input affects speech perception.

Acknowledgments
Funding for this study was provided by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grants R03 DC008383 (awarded to the first author) and T32 DC00012 (awarded to the third author) and by the Psi Iota Xi Philanthropic Organization. Portions of this study were presented at the 2008 American Auditory Society Annual Meeting, Scottsdale, AZ. We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Jason Parton from the University of Alabama's Rural Health Institute for Clinical and Translational Science, who provided statistical support for the study
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