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Logo for the Journal of Rehab R&D
Volume 42 Number 4, July/August 2005
Pages 499 — 510

Abstract - A comparison of word-recognition abilities assessed with digit pairs and digit triplets in multitalker babble

Richard H. Wilson, PhD;1-2* Christopher A. Burks, MS;1 Deborah G. Weakley, MS1

1James H. Quillen Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Mountain Home, Johnson City, TN; 2Departments of Surgery and Communicative Disorders, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN
Abstract — This study compares, for listeners with normal hearing and listeners with hearing loss, the recognition performances obtained with digit-pair and digit-triplet stimulus sets presented in multitalker babble. Digits 1 through 10 (excluding 7) were mixed in approximately 1,000 ms segments of babble from 4 to -20 dB signal-to-babble (S/B) ratios, concatenated to form the pairs and triplets, and recorded on compact disc. Nine and eight digits were presented at each level for the digit-triplet and digit-pair paradigms, respectively. For the listeners with normal hearing and the listeners with hearing loss, the recognition performances were 3 dB and 1.2 dB better, respectively, on digit pairs than on digit triplets. For equal intelligibility, the listeners with hearing loss required an approximately 10 dB more favorable S/B than the listeners with normal hearing. The distributions of the 50% points for the two groups had no overlap.
Key words: auditory perception, background noise, digital perception, hearing loss, monaural, monosyllabic words, normal hearing, signal-to-babble ratio, speech perception, word recognition in multitalker babble.

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