Infants and children are more vulnerable to interference from competing backgrounds sounds than adults. These development effects in auditory masking can be substantial for children with normal hearing sensitivity, but are more pronounced for children with hearing impairment. Despite the fact that infants must learn about speech and language in the presence of competing sounds, we have a limited understanding of the factors that influence children's hearing in noise, and few studies have addressed the specific challenges faced by infants and children with hearing impairment. The long-term aim of this project is to identify and explain the factors responsible for the development of hearing in complex acoustic environments that contain multiple sources of sound. The proposed experiments will characterize developmental effects in the ability to hear target tones or speech in the presence of competing background sounds and will identify acoustic-cue combinations that improve hearing in noise for both normal-hearing and hearing-impaired infants and children.
Aim 1 will delineate the time course of development for remote-frequency masking from infancy to adolescence. The proposed studies will test the hypothesis that susceptibility to interference from remote-frequency background sounds decreases with increasing age.
Aim 2 will investigate the extent to which infants and children benefit from the provision of robust and/or redundant auditory grouping cues in the presence of competing background sounds. These studies will test the hypothesis that infants and children benefit less than adults from sound source segregation cues when those cues are relatively sparse.
Aim 3 will identify acoustic cues that improve hearing in the presence of competing background sounds for infants and children with hearing impairment. This work will test the hypothesis that hearing impairment interferes with auditory processing abilities related to the segregation and selection of target from background sounds. Experiments proposed for all three aims rely on rigorous behavioral methods using well-characterized multi-tonal and noise stimuli as well as speech perception testing in the presence of competing noise or speech maskers. The results of the proposed studies will provide much needed normative data and are expected to contribute to the formation of pediatric measures of complex auditory perception. There is also the potential these data will lead to improved strategies to optimize the delivery of auditory information for infants and children with hearing impairment.
The results of the proposed studies will provide valuable information about the factors that limit infants'and children's abilities to hear target sounds in noisy environments and the specific challenges faced by children with hearing impairment. This information is relevant to public health because it will provide much-needed normative data for clinical hearing measures designed to assess complex auditory skills. There is also the potential these data could lead to the development of new intervention strategies to improve the provision of auditory information for infants and children with hearing impairment.
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|Leibold, Lori J; Buss, Emily; Calandruccio, Lauren (2018) Developmental Effects in Masking Release for Speech-in-Speech Perception Due to a Target/Masker Sex Mismatch. Ear Hear 39:935-945|
|Flaherty, Mary M; Buss, Emily; Leibold, Lori J (2018) Developmental Effects in Children's Ability to Benefit From F0 Differences Between Target and Masker Speech. Ear Hear :|
|Buss, Emily; Leibold, Lori J; Porter, Heather L et al. (2017) Speech recognition in one- and two-talker maskers in school-age children and adults: Development of perceptual masking and glimpsing. J Acoust Soc Am 141:2650|
|Corbin, Nicole E; Buss, Emily; Leibold, Lori J (2017) Spatial Release From Masking in Children: Effects of Simulated Unilateral Hearing Loss. Ear Hear 38:223-235|
|Leibold, Lori J (2017) Speech Perception in Complex Acoustic Environments: Developmental Effects. J Speech Lang Hear Res 60:3001-3008|
|Bonino, Angela Yarnell; Leibold, Lori J (2017) Behavioral Assessment of Hearing in 2 to 4 Year-old Children: A Two-interval, Observer-based Procedure Using Conditioned Play-based Responses. J Vis Exp :|
|Corbin, Nicole E; Bonino, Angela Yarnell; Buss, Emily et al. (2016) Development of Open-Set Word Recognition in Children: Speech-Shaped Noise and Two-Talker Speech Maskers. Ear Hear 37:55-63|
|Leibold, Lori J; Buss, Emily (2016) Factors responsible for remote-frequency masking in children and adults. J Acoust Soc Am 140:4367|
|Calandruccio, Lauren; Leibold, Lori J; Buss, Emily (2016) Linguistic Masking Release in School-Age Children and Adults. Am J Audiol 25:34-40|
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