Robust relationship between reading span and speech recognition in noise

Pamela Elizabeth Souza*, Kathryn Arehart

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Working memory refers to a cognitive system that manages information processing and temporary storage. Recent work has demonstrated that individual differences in working memory capacity measured using a reading span task are related to ability to recognize speech in noise. In this project, we investigated whether the specific implementation of the reading span task influenced the strength of the relationship between working memory capacity and speech recognition. Design: The relationship between speech recognition and working memory capacity was examined for two different working memory tests that varied in approach, using a within-subject design. Data consisted of audiometric results along with the two different working memory tests; one speech-in-noise test; and a reading comprehension test. Study sample: The test group included 94 older adults with varying hearing loss and 30 younger adults with normal hearing. Results: Listeners with poorer working memory capacity had more difficulty understanding speech in noise after accounting for age and degree of hearing loss. That relationship did not differ significantly between the two different implementations of reading span. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that different implementations of a verbal reading span task do not affect the strength of the relationship between working memory capacity and speech recognition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)705-713
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Audiology
Volume54
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 3 2015

Keywords

  • Hearing
  • age
  • cognition
  • working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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