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Assessing and reducing listening effort of listening to speech in adverse conditions

: Hall, Amy; Rennies-Hochmuth, Jan; Winneke, Axel

Fulltext urn:nbn:de:0011-n-5460461 (675 KByte PDF)
MD5 Fingerprint: 151c6b921af046d4acaa2c2fe994a3e4
Created on: 27.8.2019

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Akustik -DEGA-, Berlin:
Fortschritte der Akustik. DAGA 2019 : 45. Jahrestagung für Akustik; 18.-21. März 2019, Rostock
Berlin: DEGA, 2019
ISBN: 978-3-939296-14-0
Deutsche Jahrestagung für Akustik (DAGA) <45, 2019, Rostock>
European Commission EC
H2020; 675324; ENRICH
Enriched communication across the lifespan
Conference Paper, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IDMT ()

Background: Normally hearing listeners successfully compensate for speech distortions in everyday environments, but can become fatigued as a result. AdaptDRC is a near-end-listening-enhancement algorithm that alters speech signals for playback, dependent on environmental noise, for improved intelligibility (Schepker et al., 2013). Aim: In this electroencephalography (EEG) study I measured neurophysiological correlates of listening effort (LE) by comparing unprocessed speech to AdaptDRC-processed speech.
Method: I recorded EEG while normally hearing participants (N=27) listened to unprocessed or AdaptDRC-processed sentences in noise, then rated the subjective listening effort. I also measured speech intelligibility, hearing and cognitive abilities.
Results: For intelligible speech, subjective LE decreases with increasing SNR and is lower for AdaptDRC speech than unprocessed speech. Spectral alpha power (8-12Hz) analyses suggest that peak cognitive effort occurs at 0dB SNR. Spectral alpha also increases with task duration, indicating an association with fatigue.
Conclusions: This experiment provides insight into the neurophysiological correlates of effortful listening in adverse conditions, and the benefits of near-end-listening-enhancement technology.