Perceptual coherence, the process by which the individual elements of complex sounds are bound together, was examined in adult listeners with longstanding childhood hearing losses, listeners with adult-onset hearing losses, and listeners with normal hearing. It was hypothesized that perceptual coherence would vary in strength between the groups due to their substantial differences in hearing history. Bisyllabic words produced by three talkers as well as comodulated three-tone complexes served as stimuli. In the first task, the second formant of each word was isolated and presented for recognition. In the second task, an isolated formant was paired with an intact word and listeners indicated whether or not the isolated second formant was a component of the intact word. In the third task, the middle component of the three-tone complex was presented in the same manner. For the speech stimuli, results indicate normal perceptual coherence in the listeners with adult-onset hearing loss but significantly weaker coherence in the listeners with childhood hearing losses. No differences were observed across groups for the nonspeech stimuli. These results suggest that perceptual coherence is relatively unaffected by hearing loss acquired during adulthood but appears to be impaired when hearing loss is present in early childhood.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics