Relating Working Memory to Compression Parameters in Clinically Fit Hearing Aids Purpose Several laboratory studies have demonstrated that working memory may influence response to compression speed in controlled (i.e., laboratory) comparisons of compression. In this study, the authors explored whether the same relationship would occur under less controlled conditions, as might occur in a typical audiology clinic. Method Participants ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 2014
Relating Working Memory to Compression Parameters in Clinically Fit Hearing Aids
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Pamela E. Souza
    Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
  • Lynn Sirow
    Port Washington Hearing Center, Port Washington, NY
  • 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 Pam E. Souza: p-souza@northwestern.edu
  • Editor and Associate Editor: Larry Humes
    Editor and Associate Editor: Larry Humes×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 2014
Relating Working Memory to Compression Parameters in Clinically Fit Hearing Aids
American Journal of Audiology, December 2014, Vol. 23, 394-401. doi:10.1044/2014_AJA-14-0006
History: Received February 6, 2014 , Revised July 24, 2014 , Accepted August 5, 2014
 
American Journal of Audiology, December 2014, Vol. 23, 394-401. doi:10.1044/2014_AJA-14-0006
History: Received February 6, 2014; Revised July 24, 2014; Accepted August 5, 2014
Web of Science® Times Cited: 11

Purpose Several laboratory studies have demonstrated that working memory may influence response to compression speed in controlled (i.e., laboratory) comparisons of compression. In this study, the authors explored whether the same relationship would occur under less controlled conditions, as might occur in a typical audiology clinic.

Method Participants included 27 older adults who sought hearing care in a private practice audiology clinic. Working memory was measured for each participant using a reading span test. The authors examined the relationship between working memory and aided speech recognition in noise, using clinically fit hearing aids with a range of compression speeds.

Results Working memory, amount of hearing loss, and age each contributed to speech recognition, but the contribution depended on the speed of the compression processor. For fast-acting compression, the best performance was obtained by patients with high working memory. For slow-acting compression, speech recognition was affected by age and amount of hearing loss but was not affected by working memory.

Conclusions Despite the expectation of greater variability from differences in compression implementation, number of compression channels, or attendant signal processing, the relationship between working memory and compression speed showed a similar pattern as results from more controlled, laboratory-based studies.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by National Institutes of Health Grant R01 DC0012289. We thank Thomas Lunner and Jerker Rönnberg for sharing their working memory test, Mead Killion for helpful information about the QuickSIN, and Cindy Bergman for her help with data collection.
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