Auditory-Visual Speech Processing (AVSP) 2009

University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
September 10-13, 2009

Visual Speech Information Aids Elderly Adults in Stream Segregation

Alexandra Jesse (1), Esther Janse (2,1)

(1) Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
(2) Utrecht institute of Linguistics, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Listening to a speaker while hearing another speaker talks is a challenging task for elderly listeners. We show that elderly listeners over the age of 65 with various degrees of age-related hearing loss benefit in this situation from also seeing the speaker they intend to listen to. In a phoneme monitoring task, listeners monitored the speech of a target speaker for either the phoneme /p/ or /k/ while simultaneously hearing a competing speaker. Critically, on some trials, the target speaker was also visible. Elderly listeners benefited in their response times and accuracy levels from seeing the target speaker when monitoring for the less visible /k/, but more so when monitoring for the highly visible /p/. Visual speech therefore aids elderly listeners not only by providing segmental information about the target phoneme, but also by providing more global information that allows for better performance in this adverse listening situation.

Index Terms: speech perception, audiovisual alignment, stream segregation, aging

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Jesse, Alexandra / Janse, Esther (2009): "Visual speech information aids elderly adults in stream segregation", In AVSP-2009, 22-27.