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Relationship between perceptual learning in speech and statistical learning in younger and older adults.

Neger TM, Rietveld T, Janse E - Front Hum Neurosci (2014)

Bottom Line: Younger and older adults showed similar amounts of perceptual learning, but only younger adults showed significant statistical learning.In younger adults, amount of adaptation was associated with lexical knowledge and with statistical learning ability.Results suggest that perceptual and statistical learning share mechanisms of implicit regularity detection, but that the ability to detect statistical regularities is impaired in older adults if visual sequences are presented quickly.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Centre for Language Studies, Radboud University Nijmegen Nijmegen, Netherlands ; International Max Planck Research School for Language Sciences Nijmegen, Netherlands.

ABSTRACT
Within a few sentences, listeners learn to understand severely degraded speech such as noise-vocoded speech. However, individuals vary in the amount of such perceptual learning and it is unclear what underlies these differences. The present study investigates whether perceptual learning in speech relates to statistical learning, as sensitivity to probabilistic information may aid identification of relevant cues in novel speech input. If statistical learning and perceptual learning (partly) draw on the same general mechanisms, then statistical learning in a non-auditory modality using non-linguistic sequences should predict adaptation to degraded speech. In the present study, 73 older adults (aged over 60 years) and 60 younger adults (aged between 18 and 30 years) performed a visual artificial grammar learning task and were presented with 60 meaningful noise-vocoded sentences in an auditory recall task. Within age groups, sentence recognition performance over exposure was analyzed as a function of statistical learning performance, and other variables that may predict learning (i.e., hearing, vocabulary, attention switching control, working memory, and processing speed). Younger and older adults showed similar amounts of perceptual learning, but only younger adults showed significant statistical learning. In older adults, improvement in understanding noise-vocoded speech was constrained by age. In younger adults, amount of adaptation was associated with lexical knowledge and with statistical learning ability. Thus, individual differences in general cognitive abilities explain listeners' variability in adapting to noise-vocoded speech. Results suggest that perceptual and statistical learning share mechanisms of implicit regularity detection, but that the ability to detect statistical regularities is impaired in older adults if visual sequences are presented quickly.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Performance on the perceptual learning task. Error bars indicate two standard errors from the mean. (A) Mean improvement in speech understanding per age group over block. (B) Improvement in speech understanding performance (in %) relative to baseline level. (C) Box plot of perceptual learning performance in younger and older adults (individual block slopes from the statistical model). More positive slopes reflect more learning.
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Figure 4: Performance on the perceptual learning task. Error bars indicate two standard errors from the mean. (A) Mean improvement in speech understanding per age group over block. (B) Improvement in speech understanding performance (in %) relative to baseline level. (C) Box plot of perceptual learning performance in younger and older adults (individual block slopes from the statistical model). More positive slopes reflect more learning.

Mentions: In Figure 4, the average recognition score per block is displayed to illustrate perceptual learning of the noise-vocoded speech within age group. Moreover, Figure 4 shows the range of perceptual learning that could be observed within each age group. Although younger adults were presented with a more difficult noise-vocoding condition (4 bands) than older adults (5 bands) and showed a lower starting performance, both age groups showed similar progress in perceptual learning. This indicates that speech conditions were appropriately selected to elicit sizeable and comparable amounts of improvement over the course of exposure in both age groups. Estimates of the best model to predict sentence identification performance within each age group are displayed in Table 5.


Relationship between perceptual learning in speech and statistical learning in younger and older adults.

Neger TM, Rietveld T, Janse E - Front Hum Neurosci (2014)

Performance on the perceptual learning task. Error bars indicate two standard errors from the mean. (A) Mean improvement in speech understanding per age group over block. (B) Improvement in speech understanding performance (in %) relative to baseline level. (C) Box plot of perceptual learning performance in younger and older adults (individual block slopes from the statistical model). More positive slopes reflect more learning.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4150448&req=5

Figure 4: Performance on the perceptual learning task. Error bars indicate two standard errors from the mean. (A) Mean improvement in speech understanding per age group over block. (B) Improvement in speech understanding performance (in %) relative to baseline level. (C) Box plot of perceptual learning performance in younger and older adults (individual block slopes from the statistical model). More positive slopes reflect more learning.
Mentions: In Figure 4, the average recognition score per block is displayed to illustrate perceptual learning of the noise-vocoded speech within age group. Moreover, Figure 4 shows the range of perceptual learning that could be observed within each age group. Although younger adults were presented with a more difficult noise-vocoding condition (4 bands) than older adults (5 bands) and showed a lower starting performance, both age groups showed similar progress in perceptual learning. This indicates that speech conditions were appropriately selected to elicit sizeable and comparable amounts of improvement over the course of exposure in both age groups. Estimates of the best model to predict sentence identification performance within each age group are displayed in Table 5.

Bottom Line: Younger and older adults showed similar amounts of perceptual learning, but only younger adults showed significant statistical learning.In younger adults, amount of adaptation was associated with lexical knowledge and with statistical learning ability.Results suggest that perceptual and statistical learning share mechanisms of implicit regularity detection, but that the ability to detect statistical regularities is impaired in older adults if visual sequences are presented quickly.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Centre for Language Studies, Radboud University Nijmegen Nijmegen, Netherlands ; International Max Planck Research School for Language Sciences Nijmegen, Netherlands.

ABSTRACT
Within a few sentences, listeners learn to understand severely degraded speech such as noise-vocoded speech. However, individuals vary in the amount of such perceptual learning and it is unclear what underlies these differences. The present study investigates whether perceptual learning in speech relates to statistical learning, as sensitivity to probabilistic information may aid identification of relevant cues in novel speech input. If statistical learning and perceptual learning (partly) draw on the same general mechanisms, then statistical learning in a non-auditory modality using non-linguistic sequences should predict adaptation to degraded speech. In the present study, 73 older adults (aged over 60 years) and 60 younger adults (aged between 18 and 30 years) performed a visual artificial grammar learning task and were presented with 60 meaningful noise-vocoded sentences in an auditory recall task. Within age groups, sentence recognition performance over exposure was analyzed as a function of statistical learning performance, and other variables that may predict learning (i.e., hearing, vocabulary, attention switching control, working memory, and processing speed). Younger and older adults showed similar amounts of perceptual learning, but only younger adults showed significant statistical learning. In older adults, improvement in understanding noise-vocoded speech was constrained by age. In younger adults, amount of adaptation was associated with lexical knowledge and with statistical learning ability. Thus, individual differences in general cognitive abilities explain listeners' variability in adapting to noise-vocoded speech. Results suggest that perceptual and statistical learning share mechanisms of implicit regularity detection, but that the ability to detect statistical regularities is impaired in older adults if visual sequences are presented quickly.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus