The role of attentional abilities in lexically guided perceptual learning by older listeners
- 366 Downloads
This study investigates two variables that may modify lexically guided perceptual learning: individual hearing sensitivity and attentional abilities. Older Dutch listeners (aged 60+ years, varying from good hearing to mild-to-moderate high-frequency hearing loss) were tested on a lexically guided perceptual learning task using the contrast [f]-[s]. This contrast mainly differentiates between the two consonants in the higher frequencies, and thus is supposedly challenging for listeners with hearing loss. The analyses showed that older listeners generally engage in lexically guided perceptual learning. Hearing loss and selective attention did not modify perceptual learning in our participant sample, while attention-switching control did: listeners with poorer attention-switching control showed a stronger perceptual learning effect. We postulate that listeners with better attention-switching control may, in general, rely more strongly on bottom-up acoustic information compared to listeners with poorer attention-switching control, making them in turn less susceptible to lexically guided perceptual learning. Our results, moreover, clearly show that lexically guided perceptual learning is not lost when acoustic processing is less accurate.
KeywordsPerceptual learning Speech perception Attention Aging Individual differences
This research was carried out while O.S. and A.W. were at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. The research by O.S. was sponsored by the Max Planck International Research Network on Aging. O.S. is now supported by a Vidi-grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The research by E.J. is supported by a (separate) Vidi-grant from NWO. The research by A.W. was funded by the Max Planck Society, Munich, Germany. A.W. is now at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen. We thank the student-assistants of the Adaptive Listening Group of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics and Willemijn van den Berg for assistance in preparing and running these experiments, and Marijt Witteman for recording the stimuli.
- Boersma, P., & Weenink, D. (2005). Praat. Doing phonetics by computer (Version 5.1).Google Scholar
- Chatterjee, S., Hadi, A. S., & Price, B. (2000). Regression analysis by example. New York: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
- Cutler, A., McQueen, J. M., Butterfield, S., & Norris, D. (2008). Prelexically-driven perceptual retuning of phoneme boundaries. Proceedings of Interspeech, 2056–2056.Google Scholar
- Davis, M. H., Johnsrude, I. S., Hervais-Adelman, A., Taylor, K., McGettigan, C. (2005). Lexical information drives perceptual learning of distorted speech: evidence from the comprehension of noise-vocoded sentences. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 134(2), 222–241.Google Scholar
- Gordon-Salant, S., Yeni-Komshian, G. H., & Fitzgibbons, P. J. (2010a). Recognition of accented English in quiet by younger normal-hearing listeners and older listeners with normal-hearing and hearing loss. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 128(1), 444–455.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Hervais-Adelman, A., Davis, M. H., Johnsrude, I. S., Carlyon, R. P. (2008). Perceptual learning of noise vocoded words: effects of feedback and lexicality. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 34(2), 460–474. doi: 10.1037/0096-1518.104.22.1680.
- Kawahara, H., Masuda-Katsuse, I., & Cheveigne, A. (1999). Restructuring speech representations using a pitch-adaptive time-frequency smoothing and an instantaneous-frequency-based F0 extraction: Possible role of a repetitive structure in sounds. Speech Communication, 27, 187–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Mitterer, H., Scharenborg, O., & McQueen, J. M. (2013). Phonological abstraction without phonemes in speech perception. Cognition. Google Scholar
- R development core team (2011). R: A language and environment for statistical computing. Vienna: R Foundation for Statistical Computing.Google Scholar
- Rietveld, A. C. M., & van Heuven, V. J. (1997). Algemene Fonetiek. Bussum: Dick Coutinho.Google Scholar