Authors: Burk MH, Humes LE
Title: Effects of long-term training on aided speech-recognition performance in noise in older adults
Source: Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research 2008 51(3): 759-771
Year: 2008
Research Design: Case Series

Purpose: This study examined how repeated presentations of words in noise affected understanding of both trained and untrained words in noise (in isolation and in sentences). Method: Eight older listeners with hearing impairment completed a word-based auditory training protocol lasting approximately 12 weeks. Training materials were presented in a closed-set condition with both orthographic and auditory feedback on a trial-to-trial basis. Performance on both trained and untrained lexically easy and hard words, as well as generalization to sentences, was measured. Listeners then returned for an additional 14 weeks to monitor retention of the trained materials. Results: Training listeners on 1 set of words improved both their open- and closed-set recognition of the trained materials but did not improve performance on another set of untrained words. When training switched to the other set, performance for the new set of words improved significantly, whereas significant improvements on the previously trained words were maintained. Training generalized to unfamiliar talkers but did not generalize to untrained words or untrained keywords within running speech. Listeners were able to maintain improved performance over an extended period. Conclusion: Older listeners were able to improve their word-recognition performance in noise on a set of 150 words with training.

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