In adults, masked speech recognition improves with the provision of a closed set of response alternatives. The present study evaluated whether school-age children (5-13 years) benefit to the same extent as adults from a forced-choice context, and whether this effect depends on masker type. Experiment 1 compared masked speech reception thresholds for disyllabic words in either an open-set or a four-alternative forced-choice (4AFC) task. Maskers were speech-shaped noise or two-talker speech. Experiment 2 compared masked speech reception thresholds for monosyllabic words in two 4AFC tasks, one in which the target and foils were phonetically similar and one in which they were dissimilar. Maskers were speech-shaped noise, amplitude-modulated noise, or two-talker speech. For both experiments, it was predicted that children would not benefit from the information provided by the 4AFC context to the same degree as adults, particularly when the masker was complex (two-talker) or when audible speech cues were temporally sparse (modulated-noise). Results indicate that young children do benefit from a 4AFC context to the same extent as adults in speech-shaped noise and amplitude-modulated noise, but the benefit of context increases with listener age for the two-talker speech masker.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics