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Listening effort at signal-to-noise ratios that are typical of the school classroom

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date12/2010
JournalInternational Journal of Audiology
Journal number12
Volume49
Number of pages5
Pages928-932
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The aim of the study was to measure listening effort at typical classroom signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs). Listening effort was measured using a dual task paradigm. Participants repeated monosyllabic words presented in a background of children's chatter (primary task) at SNRs that are considered typical of the school classroom environment (quiet, +4, 0, -4 dB) while simultaneously rehearsing sets of five digits for recall (secondary task). High listening effort requires greater cognitive resources and is associated with reduced performance on the secondary task. The study sample consisted of 31 normal-hearing children (9-12 years). Performance was generally maintained on the listening task when multitasking; however, performance decreased on the secondary recall task, especially at the more negative SNRs. This demonstrates that considerable listening effort is required when listening at SNRs that are typical of the school classroom.