Blog Archives

Hearing speech in music

The masking effect of a piano composition, played at different speeds and in different octaves, on speech-perception thresholds was investigated in 15 normal-hearing and 14 moderately-hearing-impaired subjects. Running speech (just follow conversation, JFC) testing and use of hearing aids increased the everyday validity of the findings. A comparison was made with standard audiometric noises [International Collegium of Rehabilitative Audiology (ICRA) noise and speech spectrum-filtered noise (SPN)]. All masking sounds, music or noise, were presented at the same equivalent sound level (50 dBA). The results showed a significant effect of piano performance speed and octave (P<.01). Low octave and fast tempo had the largest effect; and high octave and slow tempo, the smallest. Music had a lower masking effect than did ICRA noise with two or six speakers at normal vocal effort (P<.01) and SPN (P<.05). Subjects with hearing loss had higher masked thresholds than the normal-hearing subjects (P<.01), but there were smaller differences between masking conditions (P<.01). It is pointed out that music offers an interesting opportunity for studying masking under realistic conditions, where spectral and temporal features can be varied independently. The results have implications for composing music with vocal parts, designing acoustic environments and creating a balance between speech perception and privacy in social settings.

from Noise & Health

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External validation of the LittlEARS® Auditory Questionnaire with English-speaking families of Canadian children with normal hearing

To examine the external validity of the United Kingdom English version of the LittlEARS® Auditory Questionnaire with English-speaking families of Canadian children with normal hearing.

from the International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology

The Detection of Infant Cortical Auditory Evoked Potentials (CAEPs) Using Statistical and Visual Detection Techniques

Hotelling’s T2 appears to detect CAEPs from normal hearing infants at a rate equal to that of an experienced examiner. A clinical instrument that applies Hotelling’s T2 on-line, so that the likelihood of response detection can be assessed objectively, should be of particular benefit to the novice or less experienced examiner.

from Journal of the American Academy of Audiology

Assessing audiological, pathophysiological and psychological variables in tinnitus patients with or without hearing loss

The aim of this work is to study the characteristics of tinnitus both in normal hearing subjects and in patients with hearing loss. The study considered tinnitus sufferers, ranging from 21 to 83 years of age, who were referred to the Audiology Section of Palermo University in the years 2006–2008. The following parameters were considered: age, sex, hearing threshold, tinnitus laterality, tinnitus duration, tinnitus measurements and subjective disturbance caused by tinnitus. The sample was divided into Group1 (G1), 115 subjects with normal hearing, and Group2 (G2), 197 subjects with hearing loss. Especially for G2, there was a predominance of males compared to females (P = 0.011); the highest percentage of tinnitus resulted in the decades 61–70 and >70 with a significant difference for G2 demonstrating that the hearing status and the elderly represent the principal tinnitus-related factors (P < 0.0001). The hearing impairment resulted in most cases of sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) type and was limited to the high frequencies; the 72.1% of the patients with SNHL had a high-pitched tinnitus, while the 88.4% of the patients with a high-frequency SNHL had a high-pitched tinnitus (P < 0.0001). As to the subjective discomfort, the catastrophic category was the most representative among G1 with a significant difference between the two groups; no correlation was found between the level of tinnitus intensity and the tinnitus annoyance confirming the possibility that tinnitus discomfort is elicited by a certain degree of psychological distress as anxiety, depression, irritability and phobias.

from the European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngologyl

Quantitative analysis of cochlear active mechanisms in tinnitus subjects with normal hearing sensitivity: Time–frequency analysis of transient evoked otoacoustic emissions and contralateral suppression

The analysis of the fine structure of TEOAEs revealed that the tinnitus subjects involved in this study might, possibly, have a minor dysfunction of the cochlear active mechanisms that resulted in frequency components with lower reproducibility. Conversely, the analysis of suppression effects in the narrow-band frequency components of TEOAE indicated that the subjects involved showed no relevant damage to the efferent regulatory mechanisms that control the cochlear activity, neither through the cochlea as a whole, nor in limited cochlear regions.

from Auris Nasus Larynx

Quantitative analysis of cochlear active mechanisms in tinnitus subjects with normal hearing sensitivity: Time–frequency analysis of transient evoked otoacoustic emissions and contralateral suppression

The analysis of the fine structure of TEOAEs revealed that the tinnitus subjects involved in this study might, possibly, have a minor dysfunction of the cochlear active mechanisms that resulted in frequency components with lower reproducibility. Conversely, the analysis of suppression effects in the narrow-band frequency components of TEOAE indicated that the subjects involved showed no relevant damage to the efferent regulatory mechanisms that control the cochlear activity, neither through the cochlea as a whole, nor in limited cochlear regions.

from Auris Nasus Larynx

Fitting model of ABR age dependency in a clinical population of normal hearing children

The purpose of this study was to present a simple and powerful fitting model that describes age-dependent changes of auditory brainstem responses (ABR) in a clinical population of normal hearing children. A total of 175 children (younger than 200 weeks postconceptional age) were referred for audiologic assessment with normal ABR results. ABR parameters of normal hearing children between 2003 and 2008 were included. The results of the right ears recorded at 90 dB nHL were analyzed. A simple and accurate fitting model was formulated based on these data. A very similar age-dependent effect was found for peaks III and V, and I–III and I–V intervals; latencies decrease as postconceptional age increases. It shows that the total age-dependent effect will be completed after 1.5–2 years. The age-dependent effect can be modeled by a relatively simple and accurate exponential function. This fitting model can be easily implemented to analyze ABR results of infants in daily clinical practice. We speculate about the underlying physiological processes.

from the European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngologyl

Characteristics of tinnitus with or without hearing loss: Clinical observations in Sicilian tinnitus patients

This work, according to literature data, suggests that the hearing status and the elderly represent the principal tinnitus related factors; moreover tinnitus characteristics differ in the two groups for tinnitus pitch. There is, in fact, a statistically significant association between high-pitched tinnitus and high-frequency SNHL suggesting that the auditory pathway reorganization induced by hearing loss could be one of the main source of the tinnitus sensation.

from Auris Nasus Larynx