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The relationship between talker acoustics, intelligibility and effort in degraded listening conditions

Paulus, M; Hazan, V; Adank, P; (2020) The relationship between talker acoustics, intelligibility and effort in degraded listening conditions. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America , 147 (5) , Article 3348. 10.1121/10.0001212.

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Abstract

Listening to degraded speech is associated with decreased intelligibility and increased effort. However, listeners are generally able to adapt to certain types of degradations. While intelligibility of degraded speech is modulated by talker acoustics, it is unclear whether talker acoustics also affect effort and adaptation. Moreover, it has been demonstrated that talker differences are preserved across spectral degradations, but it is not known whether this effect extends to temporal degradations and which acoustic-phonetic characteristics are responsible. In a listening experiment combined with pupillometry, participants were presented with speech in quiet as well as in masking noise, time-compressed, and noise-vocoded speech by 16 Southern British English speakers. Results showed that intelligibility, but not adaptation, was modulated by talker acoustics. Talkers who were more intelligible under noise-vocoding were also more intelligible under masking and time-compression. This effect was linked to acoustic-phonetic profiles with greater vowel space dispersion (VSD) and energy in mid-range frequencies, as well as slower speaking rate. While pupil dilation indicated increasing effort with decreasing intelligibility, this study also linked reduced effort in quiet to talkers with greater VSD. The results emphasize the relevance of talker acoustics for intelligibility and effort in degraded listening conditions.

Type: Article
Title: The relationship between talker acoustics, intelligibility and effort in degraded listening conditions
DOI: 10.1121/10.0001212
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1121/10.0001212
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10095625
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