Within-consonant perceptual differences in the hearing impaired ear

Andrea Trevino, Jont B. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The consonant recognition of 17 ears with sensorineural hearing loss is evaluated for 14 consonants /p, t, k, f, s, ∫, b, d, g, v, z, m, n/ + /α/, under four speech-weighted noise conditions (0, 6, 12 dB SNR, quiet). One male and one female talker were chosen for each consonant, resulting in 28 total consonant-vowel test tokens. For a given consonant, tokens by different talkers were observed to systematically differ, in both the robustness to noise and/or the resulting confusion groups. Such within-consonant token differences were observed for over 60% of the tested consonants and all HI ears. Only when HI responses are examined on an individual token basis does one find that the error may be limited to a small subset of tokens with confusion groups that are restricted to fewer than three confusions on average. Averaging different tokens of the same consonant can raise the entropy of a listener's responses (i.e., the size of the confusion group), causing the listener to appear to behave in a less systematic way. Quantifying these token differences provides insight into HI perception of speech under noisy conditions and characterizes each listener's hearing impairment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)607-617
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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