Discrimination of Gain Increments in Speech-Shaped Noises.

Abstract:

:Frequency-dependent gain adjustments are routine in hearing-aid fittings, whether in matching to real-ear targets or fine-tuning to patient feedback. Patient feedback may be unreliable and fittings inefficient if adjustments are not discriminable. To examine what gain adjustments are discriminable, we measured the just-noticeable differences (JNDs) for level increments in speech-shaped noises processed with prescription gains. JNDs were measured in the better ears of 38 participants with hearing impairment using a fixed-level, same-different task. JNDs were measured for increments at six individual frequency-bands: a 0.25-kHz low-pass band; octave-wide bands at 0.5, 1, 2, and 4 kHz; and a 6-kHz high-pass band. JNDs for broadband increments were also measured. JNDs were estimated at d' of 1 for a minimally discriminable increment in optimal laboratory conditions. The JND for frequency-band increments was 2.8 dB excluding the 0.25-kHz low-pass band, for which the JND was 4.5 dB. The JND for broadband increments was 1.5 dB. Participants' median frequency-band and broadband JNDs were positively correlated. JNDs were mostly independent of age, pure-tone thresholds, and cognitive score. In consideration of self-fitting adjustments in noisier conditions, JNDs were additionally estimated at a more sensitive d' of 2. These JNDs were 6 dB for bands below 1 kHz, and 5 dB for bands at and above 1 kHz. Overall, the results suggest noticeable fine-tuning adjustments of 3 dB and self-fitting adjustments of 5 dB.

journal_name

Trends Hear

journal_title

Trends in hearing

authors

Caswell-Midwinter B,Whitmer WM

doi

10.1177/2331216518820220

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2019-01-01 00:00:00

pages

2331216518820220

issn

2331-2165

journal_volume

23

pub_type

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