Relationship Between Consonant Recognition and Thresholds
Yoon, Allen and Gooler (2012) explored the relationship between pure-tone thresholds and the ability to recognize consonants in noise. The authors note that in general, the prediction of speech recognition in noise ability for people with hearing loss, as a function of their pure-tone thresholds, is not reliable. That is, pure-tone thresholds do not accurately predict speech recognition in noise. They note, pure tones are simple acoustic signals, whereas speech perception involves ongoing, cold running discourse, complex signals as well as the linguistic properties of speech and the linguistic experience of the listener.
The authors used nonsense syllables in their protocol to reduce contextual and linguistic factors while focusing more on the perception of acoustic features of speech. Multiple regression analysis revealed only 39 percent of the total variance (across nonsense syllable perception) was correlated with thresholds, whereas 61 percent (of the variance) was not related to pure tone thresholds (with respect to the confusion matrices used).
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