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Purpose The aim of the study was to examine the precision of forced-choice (closed-set) and open-ended (open-set) word recognition (WR) tasks for identifying a change in hearing. Method WR performance for closed-set (4 and 6 choices) and open-set tasks was obtained from 70 listeners with normal hearing. Speech recognition was degraded by presenting monosyllabic words in noise (-8, -4, 0, and 4 signal-to-noise ratios) or processed by a sine wave vocoder (2, 4, 6, and 8 channels). Results The 2 degraded speech understanding conditions yielded similarly shaped, monotonically increasing psychometric functions with the closed-set tasks having shallower slopes and higher scores than the open-set task for the same listening condition. Fitted psychometric functions to the average data were the input to a computer simulation conducted to assess the ability of each task to identify a change in hearing. Individual data were also analyzed using 95% confidence intervals for significant changes in scores for words and phonemes. These analyses found the following for the most to least efficient condition: open-set (phoneme), open-set (word), closed-set (6 choices), and closed-set (4 choices). Conclusions Closed-set WR testing has distinct advantages for implementation, but its poorer precision for identifying a change than open-set WR testing must be considered.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Journal of speech, language, and hearing research : JSLHR
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Hearing, auditory perception, or audition is the ability to perceive sound by detecting vibrations, changes in the pressure of the surrounding medium through time, through an organ such as the ear. Sound may be heard through solid, liquid, or gaseous mat...