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Is children’s listening effort in background noise influenced by the speaker’s voice quality?

Sahlén, Birgitta LU ; Haake, Magnus LU ; von Lochow, Heike LU ; Holm, Lucas LU ; Kastberg, Tobias LU ; Brännström, Jonas LU and Lyberg-Åhlander, Viveka LU (2017) In Logopedics Phoniatrics Vocology
Abstract

The present study aims at exploring the influence of voice quality on listening effort in children performing a language comprehension test with sentences of increasing difficulty. Listening effort is explored in relation to gender ( = cisgender). The study has a between-groups design. Ninety-three mainstreamed children aged 8;2 to 9;3 with typical language development participated. The children were randomly assigned to two groups (n = 46/47) with equal allocation of boys and girls and for the analysis to four groups depending of gender and voice condition. Working memory capacity and executive functions were tested in quiet. A digital version of a language comprehension test (the TROG-2) was used to measure the effect of voice quality... (More)

The present study aims at exploring the influence of voice quality on listening effort in children performing a language comprehension test with sentences of increasing difficulty. Listening effort is explored in relation to gender ( = cisgender). The study has a between-groups design. Ninety-three mainstreamed children aged 8;2 to 9;3 with typical language development participated. The children were randomly assigned to two groups (n = 46/47) with equal allocation of boys and girls and for the analysis to four groups depending of gender and voice condition. Working memory capacity and executive functions were tested in quiet. A digital version of a language comprehension test (the TROG-2) was used to measure the effect of voice quality on listening effort, measured as response time in a forced-choice paradigm. The groups listened to sentences through recordings of the same female voice, one group with a typical voice and one with a dysphonic voice, both in competing multi-talker babble noise. Response times were logged after a time buffer between the sentence-ending and indication of response. There was a significant increase in response times with increased task difficulty and response times between the two voice conditions differed significantly. The girls in the dysphonic condition were slower with increasing task difficulty. A dysphonic voice clearly adds to the noise burden and listening effort is greater in girls than in boys when the teacher speaks with dysphonic voice in a noisy background. These findings might mirror gender differences as for coping strategies in challenging contexts and have important implications for education.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
epub
subject
keywords
Babble noise, children, classroom, cognitive capacity, dysphonic teacher voice, gender, noise, response times, task difficulty
in
Logopedics Phoniatrics Vocology
pages
9 pages
publisher
Taylor & Francis
external identifiers
  • scopus:85019572215
ISSN
1401-5439
DOI
10.1080/14015439.2017.1324914
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
666c25e3-7441-48ec-81ed-6313b0642edf
date added to LUP
2017-06-09 09:27:50
date last changed
2017-06-10 03:00:02
@article{666c25e3-7441-48ec-81ed-6313b0642edf,
  abstract     = {<p>The present study aims at exploring the influence of voice quality on listening effort in children performing a language comprehension test with sentences of increasing difficulty. Listening effort is explored in relation to gender ( = cisgender). The study has a between-groups design. Ninety-three mainstreamed children aged 8;2 to 9;3 with typical language development participated. The children were randomly assigned to two groups (n = 46/47) with equal allocation of boys and girls and for the analysis to four groups depending of gender and voice condition. Working memory capacity and executive functions were tested in quiet. A digital version of a language comprehension test (the TROG-2) was used to measure the effect of voice quality on listening effort, measured as response time in a forced-choice paradigm. The groups listened to sentences through recordings of the same female voice, one group with a typical voice and one with a dysphonic voice, both in competing multi-talker babble noise. Response times were logged after a time buffer between the sentence-ending and indication of response. There was a significant increase in response times with increased task difficulty and response times between the two voice conditions differed significantly. The girls in the dysphonic condition were slower with increasing task difficulty. A dysphonic voice clearly adds to the noise burden and listening effort is greater in girls than in boys when the teacher speaks with dysphonic voice in a noisy background. These findings might mirror gender differences as for coping strategies in challenging contexts and have important implications for education.</p>},
  author       = {Sahlén, Birgitta and Haake, Magnus and von Lochow, Heike and Holm, Lucas and Kastberg, Tobias and Brännström, Jonas and Lyberg-Åhlander, Viveka},
  issn         = {1401-5439},
  keyword      = {Babble noise,children,classroom,cognitive capacity,dysphonic teacher voice,gender,noise,response times,task difficulty},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {05},
  pages        = {9},
  publisher    = {Taylor & Francis},
  series       = {Logopedics Phoniatrics Vocology},
  title        = {Is children’s listening effort in background noise influenced by the speaker’s voice quality?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14015439.2017.1324914},
  year         = {2017},
}