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Associations between speech understanding and auditory and visual tests of verbal working memory: effects of linguistic complexity, task, age, and hearing loss.

Smith SL, Pichora-Fuller MK - Front Psychol (2015)

Bottom Line: There was a significant group difference and a wider range in performance on LWMS than on RWMS.Notably, there were only few significant correlations among the working memory and speech understanding measures.These findings suggest that working memory measures reflect individual differences that are distinct from those tapped by these measures of speech understanding.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Audiologic Rehabilitation Laboratory, Auditory Vestibular Research Enhancement Award Program, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Mountain Home, TN USA ; Department of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN USA.

ABSTRACT
Listeners with hearing loss commonly report having difficulty understanding speech, particularly in noisy environments. Their difficulties could be due to auditory and cognitive processing problems. Performance on speech-in-noise tests has been correlated with reading working memory span (RWMS), a measure often chosen to avoid the effects of hearing loss. If the goal is to assess the cognitive consequences of listeners' auditory processing abilities, however, then listening working memory span (LWMS) could be a more informative measure. Some studies have examined the effects of different degrees and types of masking on working memory, but less is known about the demands placed on working memory depending on the linguistic complexity of the target speech or the task used to measure speech understanding in listeners with hearing loss. Compared to RWMS, LWMS measures using different speech targets and maskers may provide a more ecologically valid approach. To examine the contributions of RWMS and LWMS to speech understanding, we administered two working memory measures (a traditional RWMS measure and a new LWMS measure), and a battery of tests varying in the linguistic complexity of the speech materials, the presence of babble masking, and the task. Participants were a group of younger listeners with normal hearing and two groups of older listeners with hearing loss (n = 24 per group). There was a significant group difference and a wider range in performance on LWMS than on RWMS. There was a significant correlation between both working memory measures only for the oldest listeners with hearing loss. Notably, there were only few significant correlations among the working memory and speech understanding measures. These findings suggest that working memory measures reflect individual differences that are distinct from those tapped by these measures of speech understanding.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

The individual datum points (open symbols) for reading span are plotted as a function of Word Auditory Recognition and Recall Measure (WARRM) span scores for the younger listeners with normal hearing (YN; squares), young-old listeners with hearing loss (YOHL; triangles), older listeners with hearing loss (OHL; circles), and all participants in each panel respectively. The large-filled symbols represent the group mean data. The solid line represents equal performance and the dashed line represents the linear regression through the datum points.
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Figure 3: The individual datum points (open symbols) for reading span are plotted as a function of Word Auditory Recognition and Recall Measure (WARRM) span scores for the younger listeners with normal hearing (YN; squares), young-old listeners with hearing loss (YOHL; triangles), older listeners with hearing loss (OHL; circles), and all participants in each panel respectively. The large-filled symbols represent the group mean data. The solid line represents equal performance and the dashed line represents the linear regression through the datum points.

Mentions: For each group separately and for all participants combined, Pearson r correlations were conducted to examine the associations between RS and WARRM span scores (see Figure 3). For all groups, the correlation was r = 0.52, p < 0.001 (significant at the 0.01 level, two-tailed). When correlations were computed for each group, the only significant correlation was for the OHL group (r = 0.55, p = 0.006).


Associations between speech understanding and auditory and visual tests of verbal working memory: effects of linguistic complexity, task, age, and hearing loss.

Smith SL, Pichora-Fuller MK - Front Psychol (2015)

The individual datum points (open symbols) for reading span are plotted as a function of Word Auditory Recognition and Recall Measure (WARRM) span scores for the younger listeners with normal hearing (YN; squares), young-old listeners with hearing loss (YOHL; triangles), older listeners with hearing loss (OHL; circles), and all participants in each panel respectively. The large-filled symbols represent the group mean data. The solid line represents equal performance and the dashed line represents the linear regression through the datum points.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4584991&req=5

Figure 3: The individual datum points (open symbols) for reading span are plotted as a function of Word Auditory Recognition and Recall Measure (WARRM) span scores for the younger listeners with normal hearing (YN; squares), young-old listeners with hearing loss (YOHL; triangles), older listeners with hearing loss (OHL; circles), and all participants in each panel respectively. The large-filled symbols represent the group mean data. The solid line represents equal performance and the dashed line represents the linear regression through the datum points.
Mentions: For each group separately and for all participants combined, Pearson r correlations were conducted to examine the associations between RS and WARRM span scores (see Figure 3). For all groups, the correlation was r = 0.52, p < 0.001 (significant at the 0.01 level, two-tailed). When correlations were computed for each group, the only significant correlation was for the OHL group (r = 0.55, p = 0.006).

Bottom Line: There was a significant group difference and a wider range in performance on LWMS than on RWMS.Notably, there were only few significant correlations among the working memory and speech understanding measures.These findings suggest that working memory measures reflect individual differences that are distinct from those tapped by these measures of speech understanding.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Audiologic Rehabilitation Laboratory, Auditory Vestibular Research Enhancement Award Program, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Mountain Home, TN USA ; Department of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN USA.

ABSTRACT
Listeners with hearing loss commonly report having difficulty understanding speech, particularly in noisy environments. Their difficulties could be due to auditory and cognitive processing problems. Performance on speech-in-noise tests has been correlated with reading working memory span (RWMS), a measure often chosen to avoid the effects of hearing loss. If the goal is to assess the cognitive consequences of listeners' auditory processing abilities, however, then listening working memory span (LWMS) could be a more informative measure. Some studies have examined the effects of different degrees and types of masking on working memory, but less is known about the demands placed on working memory depending on the linguistic complexity of the target speech or the task used to measure speech understanding in listeners with hearing loss. Compared to RWMS, LWMS measures using different speech targets and maskers may provide a more ecologically valid approach. To examine the contributions of RWMS and LWMS to speech understanding, we administered two working memory measures (a traditional RWMS measure and a new LWMS measure), and a battery of tests varying in the linguistic complexity of the speech materials, the presence of babble masking, and the task. Participants were a group of younger listeners with normal hearing and two groups of older listeners with hearing loss (n = 24 per group). There was a significant group difference and a wider range in performance on LWMS than on RWMS. There was a significant correlation between both working memory measures only for the oldest listeners with hearing loss. Notably, there were only few significant correlations among the working memory and speech understanding measures. These findings suggest that working memory measures reflect individual differences that are distinct from those tapped by these measures of speech understanding.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus