Linguistic masking release in school-age children and adults

Lauren Calandruccio, Lori J Leibold, Emily Buss

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Abstract

Purpose: This study assessed if 6- to 8-year-old children benefit from a language mismatch between target and masker speech for sentence recognition in a 2-talker masker. Method: English sentence recognition was evaluated for English monolingual children (ages 6–8 years, n = 15) and adults (n = 15) in an English 2-talker and a Spanish 2-talker masker. A regression analysis with subject as a random variable was used to test the fixed effect of listener group and masker language and the interaction of these two effects. Results: Thresholds were approximately 5 dB higher for children than for adults in both maskers. However, children and adults benefited to the same degree from a mismatch between the target and masker language with approximately 3 dB lower thresholds in the Spanish than the English masker. Conclusions: Results suggest that children are able to take advantage of linguistic differences between English and Spanish speech maskers to the same degree as adults. Yet, overall worse performance for children may indicate general cognitive immaturity compared with adults, perhaps causing children to be less efficient when combining glimpses of degraded speech information into a meaningful sentence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-40
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of audiology
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing

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