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Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2016 Sep;273(9):2451-9. doi: 10.1007/s00405-015-3838-8. Epub 2015 Nov 26.

The effect of symmetrical and asymmetrical hearing impairment on music quality perception.

Cai Y1,2, Zhao F3,4, Chen Y1,2, Liang M1,2, Chen L1,2, Yang H1,2, Xiong H1,2, Zhang X1,2, Zheng Y5,6.

Author information

1
Department of Otolaryngology, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.
2
Institute of Hearing and Speech-Language Science, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.
3
Department of Speech Language Therapy and Hearing Science, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Cardiff, Wales, UK.
4
Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, Xinhua College, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.
5
Department of Otolaryngology, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China. yiqingzheng@hotmail.com.
6
Institute of Hearing and Speech-Language Science, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China. yiqingzheng@hotmail.com.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of symmetrical, asymmetrical and unilateral hearing impairment on music quality perception. Six validated music pieces in the categories of classical music, folk music and pop music were used to assess music quality in terms of its 'pleasantness', 'naturalness', 'fullness', 'roughness' and 'sharpness'. 58 participants with sensorineural hearing loss [20 with unilateral hearing loss (UHL), 20 with bilateral symmetrical hearing loss (BSHL) and 18 with bilateral asymmetrical hearing loss (BAHL)] and 29 normal hearing (NH) subjects participated in the present study. Hearing impaired (HI) participants had greater difficulty in overall music quality perception than NH participants. Participants with BSHL rated music pleasantness and naturalness to be higher than participants with BAHL. Moreover, the hearing thresholds of the better ears from BSHL and BAHL participants as well as the hearing thresholds of the worse ears from BSHL participants were negatively correlated to the pleasantness and naturalness perception. HI participants rated the familiar music pieces higher than unfamiliar music pieces in the three music categories. Music quality perception in participants with hearing impairment appeared to be affected by symmetry of hearing loss, degree of hearing loss and music familiarity when they were assessed using the music quality rating test (MQRT). This indicates that binaural symmetrical hearing is important to achieve a high level of music quality perception in HI listeners. This emphasizes the importance of provision of bilateral hearing assistive devices for people with asymmetrical hearing impairment.

KEYWORDS:

Asymmetrical hearing loss; Binaural hearing; Hearing impairment; Music quality; Symmetrical hearing loss

PMID:
26611684
DOI:
10.1007/s00405-015-3838-8
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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