The influence of hearing-aid compression on forward-masked thresholds for adults with hearing loss

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This paper describes forward-masked thresholds for adults with hearing loss. Previous research has demonstrated that the loss of cochlear compression contributes to deficits in this measure of temporal resolution. Cochlear compression can be mimicked with fast-acting compression where the normal dynamic range is mapped to the impaired dynamic range. To test the hypothesis that fast-acting compression will most-closely approximate the normal ability to perceive forward-masked pure-tones, forward-masked thresholds were measured for two groups of adults (normal hearing, hearing loss). Adults with normal hearing were tested without amplification. Adults with hearing loss were tested with three different compression speeds and two different prescriptive procedures using a hearing-aid simulator. The two prescriptive procedures differed in the extent to which the normal dynamic range was mapped onto the impaired dynamic range. When using a faster compression speed with the prescriptive procedure that best restored the lost dynamic range, forward-masked thresholds for the listeners with hearing loss approximated those observed for the listeners with normal hearing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2589-2597
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2015


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

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