Children's understanding of instructions presented in noise and reverberation

Dawna E. Lewis, Crystal M. Manninen, Daniel L. Valente, Nicholas A. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study examined children's ability to follow audio-visual instructions presented in noise and reverberation. Method: Children (8-12 years of age) with normal hearing followed instructions in noise or noise plus reverberation. Performance was compared for a single talker (ST), multiple talkers speaking one at a time (MT), and multiple talkers with competing comments from other talkers (MTC). Working memory was assessed using measures of digit span. Results: Performance was better for children in noise than for those in noise plus reverberation. In noise, performance for ST was better than for either MT or MTC, and performance for MT was better than for MTC. In noise plus reverberation, performance for ST and MT was better than for MTC, but there were no differences between ST and MT. Digit span did not account for significant variance in the task. Conclusions: Overall, children performed better in noise than in noise plus reverberation. However, differing patterns across conditions for the 2 environments suggested that the addition of reverberation may have affected performance in a way that was not apparent in noise alone. Continued research is needed to examine the differing effects of noise and reverberation on children's speech understanding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)326-336
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican journal of audiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2014


  • Children
  • Noise
  • Speech perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing


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