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Sci Rep. 2019 Aug 2;9(1):11278. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-47643-1.

Neural indices of listening effort in noisy environments.

Dimitrijevic A1,2,3, Smith ML4,5, Kadis DS6,7,8, Moore DR4,9,10.

Author information

1
Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, ON, Canada. andrew.dimitrijevic@sunnybrook.ca.
2
Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada. andrew.dimitrijevic@sunnybrook.ca.
3
Communication Sciences Research Center, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, USA. andrew.dimitrijevic@sunnybrook.ca.
4
Communication Sciences Research Center, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, USA.
5
Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.
6
Division of Neurology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, USA.
7
Pediatric Neuroimaging Research Consortium (PNRC), Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, USA.
8
College of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, USA.
9
Department of Otolaryngology, College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, USA.
10
Manchester Centre for Hearing and Deafness, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.

Abstract

Listening in a noisy environment is challenging for individuals with normal hearing and can be a significant burden for those with hearing impairment. The extent to which this burden is alleviated by a hearing device is a major, unresolved issue for rehabilitation. Here, we found adult users of cochlear implants (CIs) self-reported listening effort during a speech-in-noise task that was positively related to alpha oscillatory activity in the left inferior frontal cortex, canonical Broca's area, and inversely related to speech envelope coherence in the 2-5 Hz range originating in the superior-temporal plane encompassing auditory cortex. Left frontal cortex coherence in the 2-5 Hz range also predicted speech-in-noise identification. These data demonstrate that neural oscillations predict both speech perception ability in noise and listening effort.

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