This study investigated word recognition for sentences temporally filtered within and across acoustic-phonetic segments providing primarily vocalic or consonantal cues. Amplitude modulation was filtered at syllabic (0-8 Hz) or slow phonemic (8-16 Hz) rates. Sentence-level modulation properties were also varied by amplifying or attenuating segments. Participants were older adults with normal or impaired hearing. Older adult speech recognition was compared to groups of younger normal-hearing adults who heard speech unmodified or spectrally shaped with and without threshold matching noise that matched audibility to hearing-impaired thresholds. Participants also completed cognitive and speech recognition measures. Overall, results confirm the primary contribution of syllabic speech modulations to recognition and demonstrate the importance of these modulations across vowel and consonant segments. Group differences demonstrated a hearing loss-related impairment in processing modulation-filtered speech, particularly at 8-16 Hz. This impairment could not be fully explained by age or poorer audibility. Principal components analysis identified a single factor score that summarized speech recognition across modulation-filtered conditions; analysis of individual differences explained 81% of the variance in this summary factor among the older adults with hearing loss. These results suggest that a combination of cognitive abilities and speech glimpsing abilities contribute to speech recognition in this group.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics