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Restoration of loudness summation and differential loudness growth in hearing-impaired listeners.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
0001-4966
Publisher
Acoustical Society of America
Publication Date
Volume
132
Issue
4
Pages
2557–2568
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1121/1.4747018
PMID: 23039449
Source
Medline

Abstract

When normal-hearing (NH) listeners compare the loudness of narrowband and wideband sounds presented at identical sound pressure levels, the wideband sound will most often be perceived as louder than the narrowband sound, a phenomenon referred to as loudness summation. Hearing-impaired (HI) listeners typically show less-than-normal loudness summation, due to reduced cochlear compressive gain and degraded frequency selectivity. In the present study, loudness summation at 1 and 3 kHz was estimated monaurally for five NH and eight HI listeners by matching the loudness of narrowband and wideband noise stimuli. The loudness summation was measured as a function both of noise bandwidth and level. The HI listeners were tested unaided and aided using three different compression systems to investigate the possibility of restoring loudness summation in these listeners. A compression system employing level-dependent compression channels yielded the most promising outcome. The present results inform the development of future loudness models and advanced compensation strategies for the hearing impaired.

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