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ERIC Number: EJ935892
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 58
ISSN: ISSN-1525-0008
2-Year-Olds' Speech Understanding in Multitalker Environments
Newman, Rochelle S.
Infancy, v16 n5 p447-470 Sep-Oct 2011
Infants and toddlers are often spoken to in the presence of background sounds, including speech from other talkers. Prior work has suggested that infants 1 year of age and younger can only recognize speech when it is louder than any distracters in the environment. The present study tests 24-month-olds' ability to understand speech in a multitalker environment. Children were presented with a preferential-looking task in which a target voice told them to find one of two objects. At the same time, multitalker babble was presented as a distracter, at one of four signal-to-noise ratios. Children showed some ability to understand speech and look at the appropriate referent at signal-to-noise ratios as low as -5 dB. These findings suggest that 24-month-olds are better able to selectively attend to an interesting voice in the context of competing distracter voices than are younger infants. There were significant correlations between individual children's performance and their vocabulary size, but only at one of the four noise levels; thus, it does not appear that vocabulary size is the driving factor in children's listening improvement, although it may be a contributing factor to performance in noisy environments. (Contains 1 figure, 1 table, and 2 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A