Auditory Temporal Processing, Speech Perception & Aging

The biggest communication complaint of older people is understanding speech in degraded conditions.  We examine the general hypothesis that some of these difficulties are related to underlying problems in auditory temporal processing.  Research from the laboratory shows that degraded speech that involves alteration of the duration of individual phonemes and/or prosody is associated with strong age-related recognition deficits (e.g, Gordon-Salant et al., 2008).  These forms of speech alteration occur in Spanish-accented English, and indeed, age effects are observed for recognition of this type of accented speech (Gordon-Salant et al., 2010a, b).  Results from our psychoacoustic studies demonstrate that large age-related deficits also occur for judgments about the rhythm and stress of stimulus sequences (Fitzgibbons & Gordon-Salant, 2010).

The current project assesses the effects of age, hearing loss, and linguistic experience on the perception of altered stress and timing cues in accented English and non-speech sequences.  Building on prior work (Fitzgibbons & Gordon-Salant, 2011; Gordon-Salant et al., 2010c), the project also will compare intervention techniques to facilitate auditory learning of accented speech and non-speech sequences by older people.

An important new direction of the project is to examine questions about the role of auditory-visual (AV) temporal asynchrony on age-related differences in perception of speech during AV tasks.  All of the experimentsexamine the contributions of peripheral hearing loss, type and degree of stimulus temporal complexity, and altered cognitive demands on auditory processing of young and elderly listeners using speech and non-speech stimulus sequences.

Related Publications and Presentations

  • Fitzgibbons, P. J. & Gordon-Salant, S.  (1987). Temporal gap resolution in listeners with high frequency sensorineural hearing loss.  Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 81, 133137. View Article

  • Fitzgibbons, P. J. & Gordon-Salant, S. (1987).  Minimum stimulus levels for temporal gap resolution in listeners with sensorineural hearing loss.  Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 81, 15421545. View Article

  • Gordon-Salant, S., & Fitzgibbons, P. (1993). Temporal factors and speech recognition performance in young and elderly listeners.  Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 36, 1276 - 1285.  View Article

  • Fitzgibbons, P., & Gordon-Salant, S. (1994).  Age effects on measures of auditory temporal sensitivity.  Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 37, 662-670. View Article

  • Phillips, S., Gordon-Salant, S., Fitzgibbons, P., & Yeni-Komshian, G. (1994)  Auditory duration discrimination in young and elderly listeners with normal hearing.  Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 5, 210-215. View Article

  • Fitzgibbons, P., & Gordon-Salant, S. (1995). Duration discrimination with simple and complex stimuli: Effects of age and hearing sensitivity.  Journal of the Acoustical Society of  America, 98, 3140-3145.  View article

  • Fitzgibbons, P., & Gordon-Salant, S. (1996).  Auditory temporal processing in elderly listeners: Speech and non-speech signals. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 7, 183-189. View Article

  • Gordon-Salant, S., & Fitzgibbons, P. (1997). Selected cognitive factors and speech recognition performance among young and elderly listeners. Journal of Speech, Language,  Hearing Research, 40, 423-431. View Article

  • Fitzgibbons, P., & Gordon-Salant, S. (1998).  Auditory temporal order perception in younger and older adults.  Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 41, 1052-1060.  View article

  • Gordon-Salant, S., & Fitzgibbons, P. (1999). Profile of auditory temporal processing in older listeners. Journal of Speech,   Language, and Hearing Research, 42, 300 - 311. View Article

  • Phillips, S., Gordon-Salant, S., Fitzgibbons, P., & Yeni-Komshian, G.  (2000). Frequency and temporal resolution in elderly listeners with good and poor word recognition. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 43, 217 - 228. View Article

  • Gordon-Salant, S., & Fitzgibbons, P. (2001).  Sources of age-related difficulty for time-compressed speech,Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 44, 709-719.  View article

  • Fitzgibbons, P.J., & Gordon-Salant, S. (2001). Aging and temporal discrimination in auditory sequences. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 109, 2955-2963.  View article

  • Fitzgibbons, P., & Gordon-Salant, S.  (2004).  Age effects on discrimination of timing in auditory sequences Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 116, 1126 – 1134.  View article

  • Gordon-Salant, S. Yeni-Komshian, G., Fitzgibbons, P., & Barrett, J.  (2006).  Age-related differences in identification and discrimination of temporal cues in speech segments, Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 119, 2455-2466. View Article

  • Fitzgibbons, P.,  Gordon-Salant, S., & Friedman, S.  (2006). Effects of age and sequence presentation rate on temporal order recognition. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 120, 991-999. DOI: 10.1121/1.2214463.  View article

  • Gordon-Salant, S.  (2006). Speech perception and auditory temporal processing performance by older listeners: implications for real-world communication.  Seminars in Hearing, 27, 264- 268. DOI: 10.1121/1.2171527 View Article

  • Gordon-Salant, S., Fitzgibbons, P., & Friedman, S. (2007). Recognition of time-compressed and natural speech with selective temporal enhancementsby young and elderly listeners. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research , 50, 1181-1193.  View article

  • Fitzgibbons, P., Gordon-Salant, S., & Barrett, J.  (2007).  Age-related differences in discrimination of an interval separating onsets of successive tone bursts as a function of interval duration. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 122, 458-466.  View article

  • Gordon-Salant, S., Yeni-Komshian, G., & Fitzgibbons, P. (2008). The role of temporal cues in word identification by younger and older adults: Effects of sentence context. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 124, 3249-3260. DOI: 10.1121/1.2982409.  View article

  • Schvartz, K., Chatterjee, M., & Gordon-Salant, S. (2008). Recognition of spectrally degraded phonemes by younger, middle-aged, and older normal-hearing listeners. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America , 124, 3972 – 3988. DOI: 10.1121/1.2997434. View Article

  • Fitzgibbons, P., & Gordon-Salant, S. (2010). Age-related differences in discrimination of temporal intervals in accented tone sequences. Hearing Research, 264, 41-47. DOI: 10.1016/j.heares.2009.11.00.  View article

  • Fitzgibbons, P., & Gordon-Salant, S. (2011). Effects of interval repetition in tonal sequences on temporal discrimination by younger and older listeners.  Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 129, 1490-1500. DOI: 10.1121/1.3533728.   View article

  • Gordon-Salant, S., Yeni-Komshian, G.H., & Fitzgibbons, P.J. (2010). Recognition of accented English in quiet by younger normal-hearing listeners and older listeners with normal hearing and hearing loss. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 128, 444-455. DOI: 10.1121/1.3397409.  View Article

  • Gordon-Salant, S., Yeni-Komshian, G.H., & Fitzgibbons, P.J (2010). Perception of accented English in quiet and noise by younger and older listeners. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 128, 3152-3160. DOI: 10.1121/1.3495940  View Article

  • Gordon-Salant, S., Yeni-Komshian, G.H., Fitzgibbons, P.J., & Schurman, J. (2010). Short-term adaptation to accented English by younger and older listeners. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (Express Letters), 128, EL200-EL204 . DOI: 10.1121/1.3486199  View Article

  • Gordon-Salant, S., Fitzgibbons, P., & Yeni-Komshian, G.H. (2011). Auditory temporal processing and aging: Implications for speech understanding of older people. Audiology Research 1, 9-15. View Article

  • Gordon-Salant, S., Yeni-Komshian, G.H., Fitzgibbons, P.J., Cohen, J.I., & Waldroup, C. (2013).  Recognition of accented and unaccented speech in different maskers by younger and older listeners.  Journal of the Acoustical Society of America134, 618-627.  DOI: 10.1121/1.4807817 View Article

  • Gordon-Salant, S., Zion, D., &  Espy-Wilson, C.  (2014).  Recognition of time-compressed speech does not predict recognition of natural-fast speech sentences by older listeners. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America -- Express Letters, 136, EL 268-274. View Article

  • Fitzgibbons, P.J., & Gordon-Salant, S. (2015). Age effects in discrimination of intervals within rhythmic tone sequences. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 137, 388-396. View Article

  • Gordon-Salant, S., Yeni-Komshian, G.H., Pickett, E.*, & Fitzgibbons, P.J. (2016). Perception of contrastive bi-syllabic lexical stress in unaccented and accented words by younger and older listeners. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 139, 1132-1148. DOI: 10.1121/1.4943557. View Article

  • Willison, H.*, Freund, M.*, & Gordon-Salant, S. (2015). Audio-visual asynchronous speech recognition by older and younger listeners. American Auditory Society Meeting, Scottsdale. 

  • Freund, M.*, Willison, H.*, & Gordon-Salant, S. (2015). Recognition of sentences in video recordings altered in auditory and visual onset time by younger and older people. Aging and Speech Communication Research Conference, Indianapolis, IN, Oct. 

  • Bieber, R.*, & Gordon-Salant, S. (2016). Adaptation to foreign-accented speech: Influence of aging and hearing loss. American Auditory Society, Scottsdale, AZ, Mar.

This research is supported by Grant #R01 AG09191 , from the National Institute of Aging, NIH.

 

Experimental Speech Samples

Here are some samples of IEEE sentences spoken by one unaccented and two Spanish-accented talkers.