The role of working memory in speech recognition by hearing-impaired older listeners: does the task matter?

Dorina Strori*, Pamela E. Souza

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Working memory refers to a cognitive system that holds a limited amount of information in a temporarily heightened state of availability, for use in ongoing cognitive tasks. Research suggests a link between working memory and speech recognition. In this study, we investigated this relationship using two working memory tests that differed in regard to the operationalisation of the link between working memory and attention: the auditory visual divided attention test (AVDAT) and the widely used reading span test. Design: The relationship between speech-in-noise recognition and working memory was examined for two different working memory tests that varied in methodological and theoretical aspects, using a within-subject design. Study sample: Nineteen hearing-impaired older listeners participated. Results: We found a strong link between the reading span test and speech-in-noise recognition and a less robust link between the AVDAT and speech-in-noise recognition. There was evidence for the role of selective attention in speech-in-noise recognition, shown via the new AVDAT measure. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that the strength of the relationship between speech-in-noise recognition and working memory may be influenced by the match between the demands and the stimuli of the speech-in-noise task and those of the working memory test.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of Audiology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • behavioral measures
  • selective and divided attention
  • speech perception
  • speech-in-noise recognition
  • Working memory
  • working memory measures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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