Development of the New Zealand Stimuli for the University of Canterbury Adaptive Speech Test-Filtered Words (UCAST-FW)
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Audiology
Auditory processing disorder (APD) is a label that describes a variable set of symptoms that share a common feature of difficulty listening to sounds in the absence of an actual audiological deficit (Moore, 2006). Clinical assessment of APD typically involves a test battery consisting of tests designed to examine the integrity of various auditory processes of the central auditory nervous system. Individuals with APD have difficulty recognising speech when parts of the signal are missing. One category of tests used to assess the extent to which this deficit is associated with reduced performance on the task is the low-pass filtered speech test. The University of Canterbury Adaptive Speech Test-Filtered Words (UCAST-FW) is a computer-based adaptive low-pass filtered speech test developed for the assessment of auditory processing skills in adults and children. Earlier studies with the UCAST-FW (McGaffin, 2007; Sincock, 2008; Heidtke, 2010; Abu-Hijleh, 2011) have produced encouraging results. However, there appear to be a number of confounding factors. The UCAST-FW is testing New Zealand listeners using an Australian recording of American test material. The purpose of the current study was to develop a new four-alternative forced choice test to replace the Northwestern University Children’s Perception of Speech (NU-CHIPS) stimuli the UCAST-FW currently utilises. The new test consists of 98 sets of four test items, (one target item and three foil alternatives) designed to be used in a four-alternative forced choice picture-pointing procedure. Phonemic analysis of the new word list and the NU-CHIPS word lists revealed a similar distribution of phonemes for target words of both word lists. The development of the new word list is described and the clinical applicability is explored.