What is it about?

Vocoded speech is used as a cochlear-implant simulation. It takes some time to adjust to understanding the degradation of vocoding. It was unknown if the rate of improvement in vocoded speech understanding differed between adults and children. We found that children and adults learn vocoded speech at the same rate across a range of vocoding conditions. Adults are better than children at understanding unshifted vocoded speech (where speech information is simple degraded), but are the same for shifted vocoded speech (where speech information needs to be relearned). Most importantly, the relative performance differences persisted after exposure and training.

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Why is it important?

Children do not have the attention span for training experiment. Luckily, there is no relative change in performance compared to adults on vocoded speech understanding experiments. Therefore, child and adult vocoded speech understanding performance can be compared in acute measurements.


Because adults and children learn vocoded speech at the same rate, this research demonstrates that there is some flexibility in using vocoded speech as a tool to help assess speech understanding, language acquisition, and language development in cochlear-implant users.

Dr. Matthew J Goupell
University System of Maryland

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Vocoded speech perception with simulated shallow insertion depths in adults and children, The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, January 2017, Acoustical Society of America (ASA), DOI: 10.1121/1.4973649.
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