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Listening effort at signal-to-noise ratios that are typical of the school classroom.

International Journal of Audiology
Informa UK (Taylor & Francis)
Publication Date


OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to measure listening effort at typical classroom signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs). DESIGN: Listening effort was measured using a dual task paradigm. Participants repeated monosyllabic words presented in a background of children's chatter (primary task) at SNRs that are considered typical of the school classroom environment (quiet, +4, 0, -4 dB) while simultaneously rehearsing sets of five digits for recall (secondary task). High listening effort requires greater cognitive resources and is associated with reduced performance on the secondary task. STUDY SAMPLE: Thirty one normal-hearing children (9-12 years). RESULTS: Performance was generally maintained on the listening task when multitasking; however, performance decreased on the secondary recall task, especially at the more negative SNRs. CONCLUSIONS: This demonstrates that considerable listening effort is required when listening at SNRs that are typical of the school classroom.

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