Speech perception and hearing loss

Jont B. Allen, Andrea Trevino, Woojae Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over 150 years after the early research of Alexander Graham Bell, it remains unclear how the auditory system decodes speech, both in individuals who have "normal ears" and those who have "non-normal ears." Recent research has shown that normal ears can decode isolated consonants without error. However, when the inner ear is damaged, such as with sensorineural hearing loss where hair cells and synaptic connections are not properly functioning, speech can be heard but not understood. In these cases, two seemingly-normal articulated utterances of the same consonant can result in totally different responses. Such specific and consistent confusions uniquely depend on the auditory system's function and the utterance. This presentation will discuss the differences between how the auditory systems of normal ears and non-normal ears receive and decode speech.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-166
Number of pages11
JournalVolta Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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