What is it about?

People commonly report that speakers with neurological speech disorders are more difficult to understand. However, measurement of these difficulties has been mostly subjective. This study examines behavioral listening effort using a word recall paradigm. The primary task involved speech transcription. As listeners completed this task, they were also asked to retain and recall words from previous sentences. Results showed that listeners remembered fewer words when transcribing disordered speech versus neurotypical speech. Even words that were fully intelligible were less likely to be accurately recalled.

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Why is it important?

These results suggest that listeners require more cognitive resources to process disordered speech. When more cognitive resources are required, listeners may experience difficulties multi-tasking or remembering aspects of their conversations.


Increased listener effort is likely to affect broader communicative situations and may be one reason why listeners reportedly avoid more challenging topics when talking to people with dysarthria. A better understanding of listeners' experiences is an important first step in addressing these issues.

Annalise Fletcher
Utah State University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Beyond Speech Intelligibility: Quantifying Behavioral and Perceived Listening Effort in Response to Dysarthric Speech, Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research, November 2022, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA),
DOI: 10.1044/2022_jslhr-22-00136.
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