Aero-tactile integration in speech perception : adults with hearing impairment. (2017)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Degree NameMaster of Audiology
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
AuthorsGordon, M.show all
Human speech perception can be influenced by speech-related air-flow stimuli delivered to the skin, known as aero-tactile stimulation. Following on from a series of experiments conducted in listeners with normal hearing, our aim was to investigate whether the simultaneous presentation of auditory and aero-tactile components of speech would improve speech perception in noise of adults with sensorineural hearing impairment, compared to presentation of the auditory component alone. Participants undertook an open-set sentence test, with and without airflow. The auditory component was mixed with speech-weighted noise, and was presented through headphones, while the aero-tactile component was reproduced as air-puffs delivered through a small pump. The signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) was adjusted using an adaptive procedure to find the SNRs where participants obtained 20% and 80% of the sentence correct, and this information was used to derive psychometric functions that could be compared between groups. We hypothesised that the presence of aero-tactile stimuli would lead to improved speech perception, with speech recognition thresholds occurring at lower SNRs. There was no statistically significant difference between any of the independent variables with and without aero-tactile stimuli, regardless of degree of HI. Future directions include improvements to the current system such as increased airflow, with refinements made based on further research into the skin response to different airflow patterns.