Individualized frequency importance functions for listeners with sensorineural hearing loss

Sarah E. Yoho, Adam K. Bosen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The Speech Intelligibility Index includes a series of frequency importance functions for calculating the estimated intelligibility of speech under various conditions. Until recently, techniques to derive frequency importance required averaging data over a group of listeners, thus hindering the ability to observe individual differences due to factors such as hearing loss. In the current study, the "random combination strategy" [Bosen and Chatterjee (2016). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 140, 3718-3727] was used to derive frequency importance functions for individual hearing-impaired listeners, and normal-hearing participants for comparison. Functions were measured by filtering sentences to contain only random subsets of frequency bands on each trial, and regressing speech recognition against the presence or absence of bands across trials. Results show that the contribution of each band to speech recognition was inversely proportional to audiometric threshold in that frequency region, likely due to reduced audibility, even though stimuli were shaped to compensate for each individual's hearing loss. The results presented in this paper demonstrate that this method is sensitive to factors that alter the shape of frequency importance functions within individuals with hearing loss, which could be used to characterize the impact of audibility or other factors related to suprathreshold deficits or hearing aid processing strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)822-830
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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