Linguistic Masking Release in School-Age Children and Adults Purpose This study assessed if 6- to 8-year-old children benefit from a language mismatch between target and masker speech for sentence recognition in a 2-talker masker. Method English sentence recognition was evaluated for English monolingual children (ages 6–8 years, n = 15) and adults (n = 15) in ... Research Article
Research Article  |   March 01, 2016
Linguistic Masking Release in School-Age Children and Adults
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lauren Calandruccio
    Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
  • Lori J. Leibold
    Center for Hearing Research, Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, NE
  • Emily Buss
    The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • 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 Lauren Calandruccio: lauren.calandruccio@case.edu
  • Editor and Associate Editor: Larry Humes
    Editor and Associate Editor: Larry Humes×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Research Articles
Research Article   |   March 01, 2016
Linguistic Masking Release in School-Age Children and Adults
American Journal of Audiology, March 2016, Vol. 25, 34-40. doi:10.1044/2015_AJA-15-0053
History: Received September 10, 2015 , Revised November 16, 2015 , Accepted December 8, 2015
 
American Journal of Audiology, March 2016, Vol. 25, 34-40. doi:10.1044/2015_AJA-15-0053
History: Received September 10, 2015; Revised November 16, 2015; Accepted December 8, 2015
Web of Science® Times Cited: 3

Purpose This study assessed if 6- to 8-year-old children benefit from a language mismatch between target and masker speech for sentence recognition in a 2-talker masker.

Method English sentence recognition was evaluated for English monolingual children (ages 6–8 years, n = 15) and adults (n = 15) in an English 2-talker and a Spanish 2-talker masker. A regression analysis with subject as a random variable was used to test the fixed effect of listener group and masker language and the interaction of these two effects.

Results Thresholds were approximately 5 dB higher for children than for adults in both maskers. However, children and adults benefited to the same degree from a mismatch between the target and masker language with approximately 3 dB lower thresholds in the Spanish than the English masker.

Conclusions Results suggest that children are able to take advantage of linguistic differences between English and Spanish speech maskers to the same degree as adults. Yet, overall worse performance for children may indicate general cognitive immaturity compared with adults, perhaps causing children to be less efficient when combining glimpses of degraded speech information into a meaningful sentence.

Acknowledgment
Support provided by the National Institutes of Health Grant R01 DC011038 (awarded to Lori J. Leibold).
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