Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Assessing cognitive spare capacity as a measure of listening effort using the Auditory Inference Span Test
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuroscience. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Hearing loss has a negative effect on the daily life of 10-15% of the world’s population. One of the most common ways to treat a hearing loss is to fit hearing aids which increases audibility by providing amplification. Hearing aids thus improve speech reception in quiet, but listening in noise is nevertheless often difficult and stressful. Individual differences in cognitive capacity have been shown to be linked to differences in speech recognition performance in noise. An individual’s cognitive capacity is limited and is gradually consumed by increasing demands when listening in noise. Thus, fewer cognitive resources are left to interpret and process the information conveyed by the speech. Listening effort can therefore be explained by the amount of cognitive resources occupied with speech recognition. A well fitted hearing aid improves speech reception and leads to less listening effort, therefore an objective measure of listening effort would be a useful tool in the hearing aid fitting process.

In this thesis the Auditory Inference Span Test (AIST) was developed to assess listening effort by measuring an individual’s cognitive spare capacity, the remaining cognitive resources available to interpret and encode linguistic content of incoming speech input while speech understanding takes place. The AIST is a dual-task hearing-innoise test, combining auditory and memory processing, and requires executive processing of speech at different memory load levels. The AIST was administered to young adults with normal hearing and older adults with hearing impairment. The aims were 1) to develop the AIST; 2) to investigate how different signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) affect memory performance for perceived speech; 3) to explore if this performance would interact with cognitive capacity; 4) to test if different background noise types would interact differently with memory performance for young adults with normal hearing; and 5) to examine if these relationships would generalize to older adults with hearing impairment.

The AIST is a new test of cognitive spare capacity which uses existing speech material that is available in several countries, and manipulates simultaneously cognitive load and SNR. Thus, the design of AIST pinpoints potential interactions between auditory and cognitive factors. The main finding of this thesis was the interaction between noise type and SNR showing that decreased SNR reduced cognitive spare capacity more in speech-like noise compared to speech-shaped noise, even though speech intelligibility levels were similar between noise types. This finding applied to young adults with normal hearing but there was a similar effect for older adults with hearing impairment with the addition of background noise compared to no background noise. Task demands, MLLs, interacted with cognitive capacity, thus, individuals with less cognitive capacity were more sensitive to increased cognitive load. However, MLLs did not interact with noise type or with SNR, which shows that different memory load levels were not affected differently in different noise types or in different SNRs. This suggests that different cognitive mechanisms come into play for storage and processing of speech information in AIST and for listening to speech in noise. Thus, the results suggested that a test of cognitive spare capacity seems to be a useful way to assess listening effort, even though the AIST, in the design used in this thesis, might be too cognitively demanding to provide reliable results for all individuals.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2014. , 66 p.
Series
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 1414Studies from the Swedish Institute for Disability Research, ISSN 1650-1128 ; 64
Keyword [en]
Listening effort, Cognitive spare capacity, Speech-in-noise, Cognition, Working memory, Updating, Hearing impairment
National Category
Clinical Medicine Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-109682DOI: 10.3384/diss.diva-109682ISBN: 978-91-7519-267-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-109682DiVA: diva2:740387
Public defence
2014-09-19, Victoriasalen, Campus US, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-09-01 Created: 2014-08-25 Last updated: 2014-10-08Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Testing listening effort for speech comprehension using the individuals’ cognitive spare capacity
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Testing listening effort for speech comprehension using the individuals’ cognitive spare capacity
2011 (English)In: Audiology Research, ISSN 2039-4330, E-ISSN 2039-4349, Vol. 1, no 1, 82-85 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Most hearing aid fittings today are almost solely based on the patient’s audiogram. Although the loss of gain in the cochlea is important, for a more optimal fitting, more individual parameters of the patient’s cochlear loss together with the patient's cognitive abilities to process the auditory signal are required (Stenfelt & Rönnberg, 2009; Edwards, 2007). Moreover, the evaluation of the fitting is often based on a speech in noise task and the aim is to improve the individual patient’s signal to noise ratio (SNR) thresholds. As a consequence, hearing aid fitting may be seen as a process aimed to improve the patient’s SNR threshold rather than to improve communication ability. However, subsequent to a hearing aid fitting, there can be great differences in SNR improvement between patients that have identical hearing impairment in terms of threshold data (the audiogram). The reasons are certainly complex but one contributing factor may be the individual differences in cognitive capacity and associated listening effort. Another way to think about amplified hearing is to ease a subject’s listening effort (Sarampalis, et al., 2009). When the speech signal is degraded by noise or by a hearing impairment, more high-order cognitive or top-down processes are required to perceive and understand the signal, and listening is therefore more effortful. It is assumed that a hearing aid would ease the listening effort for a hearing impaired person. However, it is not clear how to measure the listening effort. We here present a test that will tap into the different cognitive aspects of listening effort, the Auditory Inference Span Test (AIST). The AIST is a dual task hearing in noise test, that combines auditory and memory processing and is well suited as a clinical test for listening effort.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Pavia, Italy: PAGEPress, 2011
National Category
Otorhinolaryngology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-68318 (URN)10.4081/audiores.2011.e22 (DOI)
Available from: 2011-05-18 Created: 2011-05-18 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
2. Assessing listening effort by measuring short-term memory storage and processing of speech in noise
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Assessing listening effort by measuring short-term memory storage and processing of speech in noise
2014 (English)In: Speech, Language and Hearing, ISSN 2050-5728, Vol. 17, no 3, 123-132 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective

The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of working memory capacity (WMC) and updating ability (UA) on listening effort measured using a new test, the Auditory Inference Span Test (AIST), as an objective measure of listening effort.

Design

The AIST is based on Swedish five-word sentences and taps into three memory load levels (MLLs). It was administered in stationary speech-shaped noise at −2, −4, and −6 dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). WMC was assessed using the reading span test, and UA was assessed using the letter memory test. We also collected data on speech-in-noise performance and subjectively rated listening effort at the three SNRs.

Study sample

Thirty-nine participants with normal hearing thresholds (≤20 dB HL for 250 to 4000 Hz) took part in the study.

Results

AIST performance decreased with increasing MLL and was related to WMC and UA. Participants with high WMC performed better than those with low WMC at more favorable SNRs. Participants with high UA performed better than participants with low UA at the intermediate MLL, which made particular demands on the UA. Neither speech recognition scores nor subjectively rated listening effort was associated with AIST performance or either of the cognitive variables.

Conclusion

AIST taps into cognitive functions necessary for understanding speech in noise. However, in its current form AIST may be too cognitively taxing to successfully measure graded listening effort in participants with lower cognitive capacity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
W Yorks, United Kingdom: Maney Publishing, 2014
Keyword
Listening effort, Speech-in-noise, Cognition, Working memory, Updating
National Category
Social Sciences Otorhinolaryngology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-108763 (URN)10.1179/2050572813Y.0000000033 (DOI)
Available from: 2014-07-03 Created: 2014-07-03 Last updated: 2017-11-06Bibliographically approved
3.
The record could not be found. The reason may be that the record is no longer available or you may have typed in a wrong id in the address field.
4. Adverse listening conditions affect short-term memory storage and processing of speech for older adults with hearing impairment
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Adverse listening conditions affect short-term memory storage and processing of speech for older adults with hearing impairment
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Purpose: Previous work has shown an effect of noise type on memory for intelligible speech. The aim ofthis study was to investigate the effect of background noise on memory performance of intelligible speech for older adults with hearing impairment using the Auditory Inference Span Test (AIST).

Method: Twenty participants with ages between 67 and 80 years with symmetrical hearing loss (29 to 47dB HL) performed the AIST, which requires processing of five-word sentences at three memoryload levels (MLLs) in three listening conditions: Quiet, steady-state noise (SSN), and backgroundvoices (ISTS). Individualized SNRs targeted 90% speech intelligibility. AIST performance reflects the amount of cognitive capacity occupied in listening, and consequently indicates the amount of listening effort. Working memory capacity (WMC) was assessed using the reading span test, and updating ability (UA) was assessed using the letter memory test.

Results: AIST performance decreased in background noise and with increasing MLL. It was related to UA and age but not to WMC. Response times on questions designed to probe sentence recognition increased with the addition of background noise.

Conclusions: The results demonstrate that the addition of background noise requires more cognitive resourcesto maintain speech recognition performance, leading to higher demands on the cognitive capacity,higher listening effort as measured by poorer memory performance, and longer AIST responsetimes. However, the type of background noise, SSN or ISTS, affected memory performance similarly.

Keyword
Speech-in-noise, Cognition, Working memory, Updating, Hearing impairment, Listening effort, Cognitive spare capacity
National Category
Clinical Medicine Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-109680 (URN)
Available from: 2014-08-25 Created: 2014-08-25 Last updated: 2017-11-06Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

Assessing cognitive spare capacity as a measure of listening effort using the Auditory Inference Span Test(567 kB)2404 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 567 kBChecksum SHA-512
a38b9c1ed54c9f77e8e944c186e4b0294874c5cd9d1aed961bf54a8a656d5b092ca41eb9eed91d840f3d3659342ea40a05a399f7c37d507eb0d54f5ab76fd5b8
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf
omslag(2337 kB)14 downloads
File information
File name COVER01.pdfFile size 2337 kBChecksum SHA-512
e2e8186440db7aede0048e0044c47df274667a79e31c80d53b6cdcac1657f7ca009b6f47776a36f55e787e03c3898a745d6fe1a92c51dee271e57f3950a120a0
Type coverMimetype application/pdf

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Rönnberg, Niklas
By organisation
Division of NeuroscienceFaculty of Health Sciences
Clinical MedicineHealth Sciences

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 2404 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

doi
isbn
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

doi
isbn
urn-nbn
Total: 1298 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf