Impact of Masker Type and Reverberation on Pupillary Response and Listening Effort

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Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Sähkötekniikan korkeakoulu | Master's thesis
Date
2023-08-21
Department
Major/Subject
Acoustics and Audio Technology
Mcode
ELEC3030
Degree programme
CCIS - Master’s Programme in Computer, Communication and Information Sciences (TS2013)
Language
en
Pages
54+1
Series
Abstract
The thesis explores the concept of listening effort by investigating changes in pupil dilation during a speech-in-noise test with six different listening conditions. The changes in pupil size have been captured with an eye tracking device. The test group consisted of 20 volunteers. The results of the listening test revealed that maskers and reverberation had a detrimental effect on speech intelligibility. Mean and peak pupil dilation measurements for anechoic conditions displayed similar patterns, with larger pupil sizes observed for masker types with higher speech recognition thresholds, indicating increased listening effort. The impact of reverberation varied depending on the noise type. This thesis, along with previous studies, highlights the potential of pupillometry as a relevant tool providing an insight into speech processing difficulties not captured by standard diagnostic methods. It suggests that pupillometry could complement existing practices and methods in hearing evaluation. However, further research and the development of detailed guidelines for pupil data pre-processing are necessary to enhance the reliability of pupillometry in clinical settings. By doing so, this method could contribute to a better understanding of hearing challenges faced by patients on a daily basis.
Description
Supervisor
Lokki, Tapio
Thesis advisor
Kuusinen, Antti
Keywords
listening effort, speech intelligibility, pupillometry, speech-in-noise test
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