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Changes in the role of intensity as a cue for fricative categorisation

Scharenborg, O., & Janse, E. (2013). Changes in the role of intensity as a cue for fricative categorisation. In Proceedings of INTERSPEECH 2013: 14th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association (pp. 3147-3151).
Older listeners with high-frequency hearing loss rely more on intensity for categorisation of /s/ than normal-hearing older listeners. This study addresses the question whether this increased reliance comes about immediately when the need arises, i.e., in the face of a spectrally-degraded signal. A phonetic categorisation task was carried out using intensitymodulated fricatives in a clean and a low-pass filtered condition with two younger and two older listener groups. When high-frequency information was removed from the speech signal, younger listeners started using intensity as a cue. The older adults on the other hand, when presented with the low-pass filtered speech, did not rely on intensity differences for fricative identification. These results suggest that the reliance on intensity shown by the older hearingimpaired adults may have been acquired only gradually with longer exposure to a degraded speech signal.
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