Individual sensitivity to spectral and temporal cues in listeners with hearing impairment

Pamela E. Souza*, Richard A. Wright, Michael C. Blackburn, Rachael Tatman, Frederick J. Gallun

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Purpose: The present study was designed to evaluate use of spectral and temporal cues under conditions in which both types of cues were available. Method: Participants included adults with normal hearing and hearing loss. We focused on 3 categories of speech cues: static spectral (spectral shape), dynamic spectral (formant change), and temporal (amplitude envelope). Spectral and/or temporal dimensions of synthetic speech were systematically manipulated along a continuum, and recognition was measured using the manipulated stimuli. Level was controlled to ensure cue audibility. Discriminant function analysis was used to determine to what degree spectral and temporal information contributed to the identification of each stimulus. Results: Listeners with normal hearing were influenced to a greater extent by spectral cues for all stimuli. Listeners with hearing impairment generally utilized spectral cues when the information was static (spectral shape) but used temporal cues when the information was dynamic (formant transition). The relative use of spectral and temporal dimensions varied among individuals, especially among listeners with hearing loss. Conclusion: Information about spectral and temporal cue use may aid in identifying listeners who rely to a greater extent on particular acoustic cues and applying that information toward therapeutic interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)520-534
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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