Spectro-temporal glimpsing of speech in noise: Regularity and coherence of masking patterns reduces uncertainty and increases intelligibility

Daniel Fogerty, Victoria A. Sevich, Eric W. Healy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Adverse listening conditions involve glimpses of spectro-temporal speech information. This study investigated if the acoustic organization of the spectro-temporal masking pattern affects speech glimpsing in “checkerboard” noise. The regularity and coherence of the masking pattern was varied. Regularity was reduced by randomizing the spectral or temporal gating of the masking noise. Coherence involved the spectral alignment of frequency bands across time or the temporal alignment of gated onsets/offsets across frequency bands. Experiment 1 investigated the effect of spectral or temporal coherence. Experiment 2 investigated independent and combined factors of regularity and coherence. Performance was best in spectro-temporally modulated noise having larger glimpses. Generally, performance also improved as the regularity and coherence of masker fluctuations increased, with regularity having a stronger effect than coherence. An acoustic glimpsing model suggested that the effect of regularity (but not coherence) could be partially attributed to the availability of glimpses retained after energetic masking. Performance tended to be better with maskers that were spectrally coherent as compared to temporally coherent. Overall, performance was best when the spectro-temporal masking pattern imposed even spectral sampling and minimal temporal uncertainty, indicating that listeners use reliable masking patterns to aid in spectro-temporal speech glimpsing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1552-1566
Number of pages15
JournalThe Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Volume148
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 17 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

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