Visual speech information aids elderly adults in stream segregation

Jesse, A., & Janse, E. (2009). Visual speech information aids elderly adults in stream segregation. In B.-J. Theobald, & R. Harvey (Eds.), Proceedings of the International Conference on Auditory-Visual Speech Processing 2009 (pp. 22-27). Norwich, UK: School of Computing Sciences, University of East Anglia.
Listening to a speaker while hearing another speaker talks is a challenging task for elderly listeners. We show that elderly listeners over the age of 65 with various degrees of age-related hearing loss benefit in this situation from also seeing the speaker they intend to listen to. In a phoneme monitoring task, listeners monitored the speech of a target speaker for either the phoneme /p/ or /k/ while simultaneously hearing a competing speaker. Critically, on some trials, the target speaker was also visible. Elderly listeners benefited in their response times and accuracy levels from seeing the target speaker when monitoring for the less visible /k/, but more so when monitoring for the highly visible /p/. Visual speech therefore aids elderly listeners not only by providing segmental information about the target phoneme, but also by providing more global information that allows for better performance in this adverse listening situation.
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