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Korean J Audiol. 2014 Apr;18(1):28-33. English. Original Article.
Cho S , Yu J , Chun H , Seo H , Han W .
Department of Speech-Language and Audiology, Nambu University, Gwangju, Korea.
Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, Graduate School, Hallym University, Chuncheon, Korea.
Graduate School of Social Welfare, Hallym University, Chuncheon, Korea.
Division of Speech Pathology and Audiology, Research Institute of Audiology and Speech Pathology, College of Natural Sciences, Hallym University, Chuncheon, Korea.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Deficits of the aging auditory system negatively affect older listeners in terms of speech communication, resulting in limitations to their social lives. To improve their perceptual skills, the goal of this study was to investigate the effects of time alteration, selective word stress, and varying sentence lengths on the speech perception of older listeners. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Seventeen older people with normal hearing were tested for seven conditions of different time-altered sentences (i.e., +/-60%, +/-40%, +/-20%, 0%), two conditions of selective word stress (i.e., no-stress and stress), and three different lengths of sentences (i.e., short, medium, and long) at the most comfortable level for individuals in quiet circumstances. RESULTS: As time compression increased, sentence perception scores decreased statistically. Compared to a natural (or no stress) condition, the selectively stressed words significantly improved the perceptual scores of these older listeners. Long sentences yielded the worst scores under all time-altered conditions. Interestingly, there was a noticeable positive effect for the selective word stress at the 20% time compression. CONCLUSIONS: This pattern of results suggests that a combination of time compression and selective word stress is more effective for understanding speech in older listeners than using the time-expanded condition only.

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