ERIC Number: EJ1040613
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Aug
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Children's Auditory Working Memory Performance in Degraded Listening Conditions
Osman, Homira; Sullivan, Jessica R.
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v57 n4 p1503-1511 Aug 2014
Purpose: The objectives of this study were to determine (a) whether school-age children with typical hearing demonstrate poorer auditory working memory performance in multitalker babble at degraded signal-to-noise ratios than in quiet; and (b) whether the amount of cognitive demand of the task contributed to differences in performance in noise. It was hypothesized that stressing the working memory system with the presence of noise would impede working memory processes in real time and result in poorer working memory performance in degraded conditions. Method: Twenty children with typical hearing between 8 and 10 years old were tested using 4 auditory working memory tasks (Forward Digit Recall, Backward Digit Recall, Listening Recall Primary, and Listening Recall Secondary). Stimuli were from the standardized Working Memory Test Battery for Children. Each task was administered in quiet and in 4-talker babble noise at 0 dB and -5 dB signal-to-noise ratios. Results: Children's auditory working memory performance was systematically decreased in the presence of multitalker babble noise compared with quiet. Differences between low-complexity and high-complexity tasks were observed, with children performing more poorly on tasks with greater storage and processing demands. There was no interaction between noise and complexity of task. All tasks were negatively impacted similarly by the addition of noise. Conclusions: Auditory working memory performance was negatively impacted by the presence of multitalker babble noise. Regardless of complexity of task, noise had a similar effect on performance. These findings suggest that the addition of noise inhibits auditory working memory processes in real time for school-age children.
Descriptors: Young Children, Preadolescents, Short Term Memory, Auditory Stimuli, Auditory Perception, Acoustics, Comparative Analysis, Cognitive Processes, Auditory Tests
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A