J Am Acad Audiol 2005; 16(08): 622-630
DOI: 10.3766/jaaa.16.8.11
American Academy of Audiology. All rights reserved. (2005) American Academy of Audiology

Word Recognition in Multitalker Babble Measured with Two Psychophysical Methods

Richard H. Wilson
Christopher A. Burks
Deborah G. Weakley
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Publication Date:
07 August 2020 (online)

The purpose of this experiment was to determine the relationship between psychometric functions for words presented in multitalker babble using a descending presentation level protocol and a random presentation level protocol. Forty veterans (mean = 63.5 years) with mild-to-moderate sensorineural hearing losses were enrolled. Seventy of the Northwestern University Auditory Test No. 6 words spoken by the VA female speaker were presented at seven signal-to-babble ratios from 24 to 0 dB (10 words/step). Although the random procedure required 69 sec longer to administer than the descending protocol, there was no significant difference between the results obtained with the two psychophysical methods. There was almost no relation between the perceived ability of the listeners to understand speech in background noise and their measured ability to understand speech in multitalker babble. Likewise, there was a tenuous relation between pure-tone thresholds and performance on the words in babble and between recognition performance in quiet and performance on the words in babble.