Comprehension of a novel accent by young and older listeners

Adank, P., & Janse, E. (2010). Comprehension of a novel accent by young and older listeners. Psychology and Aging, 25(3), 736-740. doi:10.1037/a0020054.
The authors investigated perceptual learning of a novel accent in young and older listeners through
measuring speech reception thresholds (SRTs) using speech materials spoken in a novel—unfamiliar—
accent. Younger and older listeners adapted to this accent, but older listeners showed poorer comprehension
of the accent. Furthermore, perceptual learning differed across groups: The older listeners
stopped learning after the first block, whereas younger listeners showed further improvement with longer
exposure. Among the older participants, hearing acuity predicted the SRT as well as the effect of the
novel accent on SRT. Finally, a measure of executive function predicted the impact of accent on SRT.
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