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Changes in Orientation Behavior due to Extended High-Frequency (5 to 10 kHz) Spatial Cues

Whitmer, William M.; McShefferty, David; Levy, Suzanne C.; Naylor, Graham; Edwards, Brent

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Authors

Suzanne C. Levy

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GRAHAM NAYLOR GRAHAM.NAYLOR@NOTTINGHAM.AC.UK
Professor of Hearing Sciences

Brent Edwards



Abstract

Objectives:
Current hearing aids have a limited bandwidth, which limits the intelligibility and quality of their output, and inhibits their uptake. Recent advances in signal processing, as well as novel methods of transduction, allow for a greater useable frequency range. Previous studies have shown a benefit for this extended bandwidth in consonant recognition, talker-sex identification, and separating sound sources. To explore whether there would be any direct spatial benefits to extending bandwidth, we used a dynamic localization method in a realistic situation.

Design:
Twenty-eight adult participants with minimal hearing loss reoriented themselves as quickly and accurately as comfortable to a new, off-axis near-field talker continuing a story in a background of far-field talkers of the same overall level in a simulated large room with common building materials. All stimuli were low-pass filtered at either 5 or 10 kHz on each trial. To further simulate current hearing aids, participants wore microphones above the pinnae and insert earphones adjusted to provide a linear, zero-gain response.

Results:
Each individual trajectory was recorded with infra-red motion-tracking and analyzed for accuracy, duration, start time, peak velocity, peak velocity time, complexity, reversals, and misorientations. Results across listeners showed a significant increase in peak velocity and significant decrease in start and peak velocity time with greater (10 kHz) bandwidth.

Conclusions:
These earlier, swifter orientations demonstrate spatial benefits beyond static localization accuracy in plausible conditions; extended bandwidth without pinna cues provided more salient cues in a realistic mixture of talkers.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 29, 2021
Online Publication Date Aug 9, 2021
Publication Date 2022-03
Deposit Date Jul 9, 2021
Publicly Available Date Aug 9, 2021
Journal Ear & Hearing
Print ISSN 0196-0202
Electronic ISSN 1538-4667
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 43
Issue 2
Pages 545-553
DOI https://doi.org/10.1097/AUD.0000000000001113
Keywords Speech and Hearing; Otorhinolaryngology
Public URL https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/5764055
Publisher URL https://journals.lww.com/ear-hearing/Fulltext/2022/03000/Changes_in_Orientation_Behavior_due_to_Extended.26.aspx

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