Competing Speech Perception in Middle Age Purpose This research forum article summarizes research from our laboratory that assessed middle-aged adults' ability to understand speech in the presence of competing talkers. Method The performance of middle-aged adults on laboratory-based speech understanding tasks was compared to that of younger and older adults. Results Decline ... Research Forum
Research Forum  |   June 01, 2015
Competing Speech Perception in Middle Age
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Karen S. Helfer
    University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • Disclosure: The author has declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The author has declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Karen Helfer: khelfer@comdis.umass.edu
  • Editor and Associate Editor: Larry Humes
    Editor and Associate Editor: Larry Humes×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Research Forum: Changes in Sensory Perception in Middle-Aged Adults
Research Forum   |   June 01, 2015
Competing Speech Perception in Middle Age
American Journal of Audiology, June 2015, Vol. 24, 80-83. doi:10.1044/2015_AJA-14-0056
History: Received October 14, 2014 , Revised December 2, 2014 , Accepted January 11, 2015
 
American Journal of Audiology, June 2015, Vol. 24, 80-83. doi:10.1044/2015_AJA-14-0056
History: Received October 14, 2014; Revised December 2, 2014; Accepted January 11, 2015
Web of Science® Times Cited: 2

Purpose This research forum article summarizes research from our laboratory that assessed middle-aged adults' ability to understand speech in the presence of competing talkers.

Method The performance of middle-aged adults on laboratory-based speech understanding tasks was compared to that of younger and older adults.

Results Decline in the ability to understand speech in complex listening environments can be demonstrated in midlife. The specific auditory and cognitive contributors to these problems have yet to be established.

Conclusion There is evidence that the ability to understand a target speech message in the presence of competing speech messages changes relatively early in the aging process. The nature and impact of these changes warrant further investigation.

Acknowledgments
Work discussed in this research forum article was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grants R01 01625 (awarded to Richard Freyman) and R01 012057 (awarded to Karen S. Helfer).
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