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Does good perception of vocal characteristics relate to better speech-on-speech intelligibility for cochlear implant users?


El Boghdady, Nawal; Gaudrain, Etienne; Başkent, Deniz (2019). Does good perception of vocal characteristics relate to better speech-on-speech intelligibility for cochlear implant users? Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 145(1):417-439.

Abstract

Differences in voice pitch (F0) and vocal tract length (VTL) improve intelligibility of speech masked by a background talker (speech-on-speech; SoS) for normal-hearing (NH) listeners. Cochlear implant (CI) users, who are less sensitive to these two voice cues compared to NH listeners, experience difficulties in SoS perception. Three research questions were addressed: (1) whether increasing the F0 and VTL difference (ΔF0; ΔVTL) between two competing talkers benefits CI users in SoS intelligibility and comprehension, (2) whether this benefit is related to their F0 and VTL sensitivity, and (3) whether their overall SoS intelligibility and comprehension are related to their F0 and VTL sensitivity. Results showed: (1) CI users did not benefit in SoS perception from increasing ΔF0 and ΔVTL; increasing ΔVTL had a slightly detrimental effect on SoS intelligibility and comprehension. Results also showed: (2) the effect from increasing ΔF0 on SoS intelligibility was correlated with F0 sensitivity, while the effect from increasing ΔVTL on SoS comprehension was correlated with VTL sensitivity. Finally, (3) the sensitivity to both F0 and VTL, and not only one of them, was found to be correlated with overall SoS performance, elucidating important aspects of voice perception that should be optimized through future coding strategies.

Abstract

Differences in voice pitch (F0) and vocal tract length (VTL) improve intelligibility of speech masked by a background talker (speech-on-speech; SoS) for normal-hearing (NH) listeners. Cochlear implant (CI) users, who are less sensitive to these two voice cues compared to NH listeners, experience difficulties in SoS perception. Three research questions were addressed: (1) whether increasing the F0 and VTL difference (ΔF0; ΔVTL) between two competing talkers benefits CI users in SoS intelligibility and comprehension, (2) whether this benefit is related to their F0 and VTL sensitivity, and (3) whether their overall SoS intelligibility and comprehension are related to their F0 and VTL sensitivity. Results showed: (1) CI users did not benefit in SoS perception from increasing ΔF0 and ΔVTL; increasing ΔVTL had a slightly detrimental effect on SoS intelligibility and comprehension. Results also showed: (2) the effect from increasing ΔF0 on SoS intelligibility was correlated with F0 sensitivity, while the effect from increasing ΔVTL on SoS comprehension was correlated with VTL sensitivity. Finally, (3) the sensitivity to both F0 and VTL, and not only one of them, was found to be correlated with overall SoS performance, elucidating important aspects of voice perception that should be optimized through future coding strategies.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Neuroinformatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Acoustics and Ultrasonics, Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
Language:English
Date:1 January 2019
Deposited On:14 Feb 2020 10:27
Last Modified:14 Feb 2020 10:31
Publisher:Acoustical Society of America
ISSN:0001-4966
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1121/1.5087693

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