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Effects of Speech Rate, Background Noise, and Simulated Hearing Loss on Speech Rate Judgment and Speech Intelligibility in Young Listeners
06 August 2020 (online)
Purpose: To study the effect of noise on speech rate judgment and signal-to-noise ratio threshold (SNR50) at different speech rates (slow, preferred, and fast).
Research Design: Speech rate judgment and SNR50 tasks were completed in a normal-hearing condition and a simulated hearing-loss condition.
Study Sample: Twenty-four female and six male young, normal-hearing participants.
Results: Speech rate judgment was not affected by background noise regardless of hearing condition. Results of the SNR50 task indicated that, as speech rate increased, performance decreased for both hearing conditions. There was a moderate correlation between speech rate judgment and SNR50 with the various speech rates, such that as judgment of speech rate increased from too slow to too fast, performance deteriorated.
Conclusions: These findings can be used to support the need for counseling patients and their families about the potential advantages to using average speech rates or rates that are slightly slowed while conversing in the presence of background noise.