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Listening to speech in a background of other talkers: effects of talker number and noise vocoding

Rosen, S; Souza, P; Ekelund, C; Majeed, AA; (2013) Listening to speech in a background of other talkers: effects of talker number and noise vocoding. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America , 133 (4) 2431 - 2443. 10.1121/1.4794379. Green open access

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Abstract

Some of the most common interfering background sounds a listener experiences are the sounds of other talkers. In Experiment 1, recognition for natural Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) sentences was measured in normal-hearing adults at two fixed signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) in 16 backgrounds with the same long-term spectrum: unprocessed speech babble (1, 2, 4, 8, and 16 talkers), noise-vocoded versions of the babbles (12 channels), noise modulated with the wide-band envelope of the speech babbles, and unmodulated noise. All talkers were adult males. For a given number of talkers, natural speech was always the most effective masker. The greatest changes in performance occurred as the number of talkers in the maskers increased from 1 to 2 or 4, with small changes thereafter. In Experiment 2, the same targets and maskers (1, 2, and 16 talkers) were used to measure speech reception thresholds (SRTs) adaptively. Periodicity in the target was also manipulated by noise-vocoding, which led to considerably higher SRTs. The greatest masking effect always occurred for the masker type most similar to the target, while the effects of the number of talkers were generally small. Implications are drawn with reference to glimpsing, informational vs energetic masking, overall SNR, and aspects of periodicity.

Type: Article
Title: Listening to speech in a background of other talkers: effects of talker number and noise vocoding
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1121/1.4794379
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.4794379
Language: English
Additional information: © 2013 Acoustical Society of America
Keywords: Acoustic Stimulation, Adult, Analysis of Variance, Cues, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Noise, Perceptual Masking, Periodicity, Recognition (Psychology), Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted, Signal-To-Noise Ratio, Speech Perception, Speech Reception Threshold Test, Time Factors, Young Adult
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/1389394
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