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A virtual speaker in noisy classroom conditions : supporting or disrupting children’s listening comprehension?

Nirme, Jens LU ; Haake, Magnus LU ; Lyberg Åhlander, Viveka LU ; Brännström, Jonas LU and Sahlén, Birgitta LU (2018) In Logopedics Phoniatrics Vocology p.1-8
Abstract

Aim: Seeing a speaker’s face facilitates speech recognition, particularly under noisy conditions. Evidence for how it might affect comprehension of the content of the speech is more sparse. We investigated how children’s listening comprehension is affected by multi-talker babble noise, with or without presentation of a digitally animated virtual speaker, and whether successful comprehension is related to performance on a test of executive functioning. Materials and Methods: We performed a mixed-design experiment with 55 (34 female) participants (8- to 9-year-olds), recruited from Swedish elementary schools. The children were presented with four different narratives, each in one of four conditions: audio-only presentation in a quiet... (More)

Aim: Seeing a speaker’s face facilitates speech recognition, particularly under noisy conditions. Evidence for how it might affect comprehension of the content of the speech is more sparse. We investigated how children’s listening comprehension is affected by multi-talker babble noise, with or without presentation of a digitally animated virtual speaker, and whether successful comprehension is related to performance on a test of executive functioning. Materials and Methods: We performed a mixed-design experiment with 55 (34 female) participants (8- to 9-year-olds), recruited from Swedish elementary schools. The children were presented with four different narratives, each in one of four conditions: audio-only presentation in a quiet setting, audio-only presentation in noisy setting, audio-visual presentation in a quiet setting, and audio-visual presentation in a noisy setting. After each narrative, the children answered questions on the content and rated their perceived listening effort. Finally, they performed a test of executive functioning. Results: We found significantly fewer correct answers to explicit content questions after listening in noise. This negative effect was only mitigated to a marginally significant degree by audio-visual presentation. Strong executive function only predicted more correct answers in quiet settings. Conclusions: Altogether, our results are inconclusive regarding how seeing a virtual speaker affects listening comprehension. We discuss how methodological adjustments, including modifications to our virtual speaker, can be used to discriminate between possible explanations to our results and contribute to understanding the listening conditions children face in a typical classroom.

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
epub
subject
keywords
classroom, comprehension, education, Listening, multimodality, noise, virtual humans
in
Logopedics Phoniatrics Vocology
pages
8 pages
publisher
Taylor & Francis
external identifiers
  • scopus:85045045696
ISSN
1401-5439
DOI
10.1080/14015439.2018.1455894
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
09dbd9a1-6c80-492d-9485-3af2d9517e1d
date added to LUP
2018-04-18 15:42:52
date last changed
2019-03-12 04:08:48
@article{09dbd9a1-6c80-492d-9485-3af2d9517e1d,
  abstract     = {<p>Aim: Seeing a speaker’s face facilitates speech recognition, particularly under noisy conditions. Evidence for how it might affect comprehension of the content of the speech is more sparse. We investigated how children’s listening comprehension is affected by multi-talker babble noise, with or without presentation of a digitally animated virtual speaker, and whether successful comprehension is related to performance on a test of executive functioning. Materials and Methods: We performed a mixed-design experiment with 55 (34 female) participants (8- to 9-year-olds), recruited from Swedish elementary schools. The children were presented with four different narratives, each in one of four conditions: audio-only presentation in a quiet setting, audio-only presentation in noisy setting, audio-visual presentation in a quiet setting, and audio-visual presentation in a noisy setting. After each narrative, the children answered questions on the content and rated their perceived listening effort. Finally, they performed a test of executive functioning. Results: We found significantly fewer correct answers to explicit content questions after listening in noise. This negative effect was only mitigated to a marginally significant degree by audio-visual presentation. Strong executive function only predicted more correct answers in quiet settings. Conclusions: Altogether, our results are inconclusive regarding how seeing a virtual speaker affects listening comprehension. We discuss how methodological adjustments, including modifications to our virtual speaker, can be used to discriminate between possible explanations to our results and contribute to understanding the listening conditions children face in a typical classroom.</p>},
  author       = {Nirme, Jens and Haake, Magnus and Lyberg Åhlander, Viveka and Brännström, Jonas and Sahlén, Birgitta},
  issn         = {1401-5439},
  keyword      = {classroom,comprehension,education,Listening,multimodality,noise,virtual humans},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {04},
  pages        = {1--8},
  publisher    = {Taylor & Francis},
  series       = {Logopedics Phoniatrics Vocology},
  title        = {A virtual speaker in noisy classroom conditions : supporting or disrupting children’s listening comprehension?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14015439.2018.1455894},
  year         = {2018},
}