UCL Psychology and Language Sciences


Speech Science Forum - Matthew Winn (University of Minnesota)

29 April 2022, 4:00 pm–5:30 pm

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Listening effort in cochlear implant users impairs perception of later utterances

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Justin Lo


People with hearing difficulty often need to fill in a missing word that was misperceived, which can go unnoticed on an audiogram and unnoticed in conversation. Using listeners with cochlear implants and listeners with normal hearing, the current study directly studies this phenomenon using stimuli that were designed to force mental repair of a word, and reveal the downstream consequence on effort and interference with later words. When sentences required mental repair, CI listeners made more errors elsewhere in the sentence, suggesting that repairing one word jeopardizes later words. Pupil dilation reliably increased at the exact moment when a word needed to be repaired by context, suggesting increased effort extends forward in time a few seconds after a sentence is over. In this situation, performance for the next utterance suffered. In clinics and in labs, speech perception is typically tested one utterance at a time, critically overlooking how the problem of mental repair and its ability to derail continued listening in conversation.

About the Speaker

Matthew Winn

at University of Minnesota

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