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J Speech Lang Hear Res. 2011 Oct;54(5):1416-30. doi: 10.1044/1092-4388(2011/10-0154). Epub 2011 Apr 15.

Visual cues and listening effort: individual variability.

Author information

1
Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To investigate the effect of visual cues on listening effort as well as whether predictive variables such as working memory capacity (WMC) and lipreading ability affect the magnitude of listening effort.

METHOD:

Twenty participants with normal hearing were tested using a paired-associates recall task in 2 conditions (quiet and noise) and 2 presentation modalities (audio only [AO] and auditory-visual [AV]). Signal-to-noise ratios were adjusted to provide matched speech recognition across audio-only and AV noise conditions. Also measured were subjective perceptions of listening effort and 2 predictive variables: (a) lipreading ability and (b) WMC.

RESULTS:

Objective and subjective results indicated that listening effort increased in the presence of noise, but on average the addition of visual cues did not significantly affect the magnitude of listening effort. Although there was substantial individual variability, on average participants who were better lipreaders or had larger WMCs demonstrated reduced listening effort in noise in AV conditions.

CONCLUSIONS:

Overall, the results support the hypothesis that integrating auditory and visual cues requires cognitive resources in some participants. The data indicate that low lipreading ability or low WMC is associated with relatively effortful integration of auditory and visual information in noise.

PMID:
21498576
DOI:
10.1044/1092-4388(2011/10-0154)
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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