The Relation between Stimulus Context, Speech Audibility, and Perception for Normal-Hearing and Hearing-Impaired Children

Patricia Stelmachowicz, Brenda M. Hoover, Dawna E. Lewis, Reinier W.L. Kortekaas, Andrea L. Pittman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

100 Scopus citations


In this study, the influence of stimulus context and audibility on sentence recognition was assessed in 60 normal-hearing children, 23 hearing-impaired children, and 20 normal-hearing adults. Performance-intensity (Pl) functions were obtained for 60 semantically correct and 60 semantically anomalous sentences. For each participant, an audibility index (Al) was calculated at each presentation level, and a logistic function was fitted to rau-transformed percent-correct values to estimate the SPL and Al required to achieve 70% performance. For both types of sentences, there was a systematic age-related shift in the Pl functions, suggesting that young children require a higher Al to achieve performance equivalent to that of adults. Improvement in performance with the addition of semantic context was statistically significant only for the normal-hearing 5-year-olds and adults. Data from the hearing-impaired children showed age-related trends that were similar to those of the normal-hearing children, with the majority of individual data falling within the 5th and 95th percentile of normal. The implications of these findings in terms of hearing-aid fitting strategies for young children are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)902-914
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2000
Externally publishedYes



  • Audibility
  • Children
  • Context
  • Hearing loss
  • Speech perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing

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