Preferred Name

Haley Athey

Date of Award

Spring 2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Audiology (AuD)

Department

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Advisor(s)

Ayasakanta Rout

Brenda M. Ryals

Christopher G. Clinard

Abstract

This study examined the effect of listening fatigue on the reaction time of young, normal hearing listeners at +5 and +10 dB signal to noise ratio. Reaction time was measured in a single task paradigm on twenty listeners (ages 19-30 years) before and after a fatigue-inducing listening task. The participants also completed a subjective rating questionnaire at the two intervals. Results indicated that there was no significant difference between the reaction times before and after listening fatigue. However, for a subgroup of stimuli (nonsense syllables ending with consonants) the reaction time was 52 msec longer after listening fatigue. The participants also rated significantly higher level of fatigue on the rating scale after being exposed to the listening task. Additionally, the reaction time for +5 dB signal-to-noise ratio was significantly longer than the reaction time for +10 dB. Findings from this study demonstrated that using a single-task reaction time measure, it is possible to evaluate the effect of listening effort (e.g. identifying speech stimuli at increasing difficult signal to noise ratios), but not for evaluating the effect of listening fatigue.

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