Hearing loss decrease speech recognition performance, which has traditionally been predicted using standard audiometry. However, the ability to understand speech in noisy environments also relies on cognitive abilities (such as attention and working memory). Hearing-impaired people in particular often complain about greater processing effort required to recognize speech in noisy environments, which may lead to fatigue.
This project develops objective measures of individual cognitive effort during online speech processing in noisy environments. Eye-fixations and pupil response are measured as indicators of cognitive processing effort in audio-visual speech scenarios. These measures may be used to predict individual variation in speech intelligibility that is not due to loss of sensitivity in the peripheral auditory system.
The goal of this work is to achieve individualized measures of cognitive capacity that predict variations in speech processing that may be used for individualized hearing aids and optimized hearing aid fitting.
This project is supported by the Oticon Foundation.
In September (2014) Dorothea Wendt spent a week as a guest researcher at the University of York (UK). The purpose of her visit was to set up eye-tracking facilities and start testing an eye-tracking experiment.