Children's Understanding of Instructions Presented in Noise and Reverberation Purpose This study examined children's ability to follow audio–visual instructions presented in noise and reverberation. Method Children (8–12 years of age) with normal hearing followed instructions in noise or noise plus reverberation. Performance was compared for a single talker (ST), multiple talkers speaking one at a time (MT), ... Research Article
Research Article  |   September 01, 2014
Children's Understanding of Instructions Presented in Noise and Reverberation
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Dawna E. Lewis
    Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, NE
  • Crystal M. Manninen
    Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, NE
    University of Nebraska–Lincoln
  • Daniel L. Valente
    Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, NE
  • Nicholas A. Smith
    Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, NE
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Dawna E. Lewis: dawna.lewis@boystown.org
  • Editor and Associate Editor: Larry Humes
    Editor and Associate Editor: Larry Humes×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Research Articles
Research Article   |   September 01, 2014
Children's Understanding of Instructions Presented in Noise and Reverberation
American Journal of Audiology, September 2014, Vol. 23, 326-336. doi:10.1044/2014_AJA-14-0020
History: Received April 4, 2014 , Revised June 6, 2014 , Accepted June 27, 2014
 
American Journal of Audiology, September 2014, Vol. 23, 326-336. doi:10.1044/2014_AJA-14-0020
History: Received April 4, 2014; Revised June 6, 2014; Accepted June 27, 2014

Purpose This study examined children's ability to follow audio–visual instructions presented in noise and reverberation.

Method Children (8–12 years of age) with normal hearing followed instructions in noise or noise plus reverberation. Performance was compared for a single talker (ST), multiple talkers speaking one at a time (MT), and multiple talkers with competing comments from other talkers (MTC). Working memory was assessed using measures of digit span.

Results Performance was better for children in noise than for those in noise plus reverberation. In noise, performance for ST was better than for either MT or MTC, and performance for MT was better than for MTC. In noise plus reverberation, performance for ST and MT was better than for MTC, but there were no differences between ST and MT. Digit span did not account for significant variance in the task.

Conclusions Overall, children performed better in noise than in noise plus reverberation. However, differing patterns across conditions for the 2 environments suggested that the addition of reverberation may have affected performance in a way that was not apparent in noise alone. Continued research is needed to examine the differing effects of noise and reverberation on children's speech understanding.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) Grants R03 DC009675, T32 DC000013, and P30 DC004662, and by National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) Grant P20 GM109023. Both NIDCD and NIGMS are parts of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The content of this article is the responsibility and opinions of the authors and does not represent the views of the NIH. The first author serves on the Pediatric Advisory Board of Phonak, but there are no conflicts with the work presented here. No other conflicts of interest are noted by any authors. We thank Roger Harpster for assistance in video recording. We also thank Ryan McCreery, Marc Brennan, and Jody Spalding for reviewing earlier versions of the article.
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