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Title: The benefit received from visual information when listening to clear and degraded speech in background noise
Author: Blackburn, Catherine L.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8506 7246
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2019
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In order to improve speech understanding in background noise, visual information is used to enhance the incoming auditory signal. This enhancement is known as the visual speech benefit. Variation in the amount of visual speech benefit that is received by participants is the focus of this research project and is examined for both clear and vocoded speech. Vocoded speech simulates the type of speech experienced by cochlear-implant users. Experiments 1 and 2 examined variation in the amount of visual speech benefit gained if the type of background noise in the speech test changed. The key results from Experiment 1 and 2 were that the visual information provided was not enough to enhance speech understanding for particularly unintelligible speech. Experiment 3 assessed change to levels of visual speech benefit if the target talker in the stimuli changed. Significant differences in intelligibility between talkers was found. The amount of visual speech benefit increased as the audio intelligibility of the target talker decreased in clear speech. Overall, therefore, it is important that consideration is given to the levels of intelligibility provided by the stimuli used in speech perception testing as this may change outcomes. Experiments 4 and 5 examined individual differences that may predict the amount of visual speech benefit gained. In Experiment 4, the significant predictors of the amount of visual speech benefit gained in clear speech were general speech perception ability, ability to detect audio and visual synchrony, and tendency towards autistic traits. The results of Experiment 5 showed that general speech perception ability and time spent looking at the mouth area measured using eye-tracking were significant predictors of the amount of visual speech benefit gained in clear speech. Individual differences between participants may therefore predict differences in speech perception and should also be considered when testing speech perception.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available