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Title: The feasibility of the dual-task paradigm as a framework for a clinical test of listening effort in cochlear implant users
Author: Willis, Helen
ISNI:       0000 0004 7660 8506
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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The overall aim of this thesis is to evaluate the feasibility of using the behavioural framework of the dual-task paradigm as the basis of a clinical test of listening effort (LE) in cochlear implant (CI) users. It is hypothesised that, if a primary listening task is performed together with a secondary visual task, performance in the visual task will deteriorate as the listening task becomes harder. This deterioration in secondary visual task performance can then provide an index of LE. An initial series of six experiments progressively modified the dual-task design (in an attempt to optimise its sensitivity to LE), leading to the selection of British English Lexicon (BEL) sentences for the listening task and a digit stream visual task. A further three experiments applied this dual-task to 30 normal hearing (NH) participants listening to normal speech, 30 NH participants listening to CI simulations, and 25 CI users listening through their speech processors. Performance in quiet conditions was compared to that in different levels of background noise. Adaptive tracking procedures were used in an attempt to ensure that the challenge of noise was equal for all participants. This principle was also applied to equalise difficulty in terms of the number of channels used in the spectral resolution of the CI simulations. As expected, NH participants only exhibited significant deterioration in visual accuracy when noise was present (p < .001), suggesting increased LE. Interestingly, however, when CI simulations were applied, this significant visual deterioration occurred immediately in quiet (p<.001). The same result occurred in quiet for the CI users too (p < .001). Therefore, it appears that the degraded auditory input provided by CI induces LE even in optimal listening conditions. These results suggest that the dual-task paradigm could feasibly become a framework for developing a clinical test of LE in the CI user population.
Supervisor: Rosen, S. ; Green, T. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available