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The impact of simulated high- and low-frequency hearing loss on the phonetic context effect

Monaco, Amanda (2017) The impact of simulated high- and low-frequency hearing loss on the phonetic context effect. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This study assessed whether young adults demonstrate the phonetic context effect under conditions of normal hearing, and simulated low-frequency and high-frequency hearing loss. Twenty normal hearing participants, aged 18 to 25, listened to 600 disyllables that included a natural /ar/ or /al/ followed by a synthesized consonant-vowel (CV) syllable from the /ga/-/da/ acoustic continuum. Ten different CV syllables were constructed so that the onset of the third formant (F3) ranged from 1800 to 2700 Hz in 100 Hz steps. Each disyllable was processed to reflect normal hearing, a low-frequency hearing loss and a high-frequency hearing loss. The disyllables were presented in random order, and after each presentation, participants were asked to indicate if the last syllable was a ga or a da. Using Probit regression and Poisson analyses, the results showed that in the normal hearing condition the participants demonstrated the context effect as reflected by hearing more ga syllables in the context of /al/ than /ar/. In the low-frequency condition the average identification function was shallow with half of the participants failing to show clear categorical boundaries, but of those that did, 9 of 10 demonstrated a context effect. In the high-frequency hearing loss condition the participants failed to show any distinct categories or clear sensitivities to the /ar/ and /al/ contexts.

These results have implications for people with hearing loss and how their hearing losses are treated. The results suggested that even a moderate high-frequency loss can interfere with categorical perception and use of contextual cues. Moreover, a moderate low-frequency hearing loss, which often is overlooked for treatment, may interfere with speech processing in some people.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Monaco, Amandaamm373@pitt.eduamm3730000-0001-6676-5469
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairPratt,
Committee MemberLundblom,
Committee MemberBrown,
Committee MemberLotto,
Date: 25 April 2017
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 7 April 2017
Approval Date: 25 April 2017
Submission Date: 18 April 2017
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 44
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: David C. Frederick Honors College
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Communication Science and Disorders
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: phonetic context effect, simulated hearing loss
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2017 17:52
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2017 05:15


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