Subjective Evaluation of Communicative Effort for Younger and Older Adults in Interactive Tasks with Energetic and Informational Masking

Valerie Hazan, Outi Tuomainen, Linda Taschenberger


The impact of energetic (EM) and informational masking (IM) on speech communication is typically evaluated using perception tests that do not involve actual communication. Here, ratings of effort, concentration and degree of interference were obtained for 51 young, middle-aged and older adults after they had completed communicative tasks (Diapix) with another participant in conditions in which no noise, speech-shaped noise, or three voices were heard in the background. They also completed background sensory and cognitive tests and a quality of hearing questionnaire. The EM condition was perceived as less effortful, requiring less concentration and easier to ignore than those involving IM. Effects were generally greater for talkers taking the lead in the interaction. Even though the two older groups were more affected by IM than young adults in a speech in noise perception test, age did not impact on ratings of effort and ability to ignore the noise in the diapix communicative task. Only for concentration ratings, did the Older Adult group give similar ratings in quiet as when EM was present. Together, these results suggest that evaluations that purely assess receptive speech in older adults do not fully represent the impact of sources of interference on speech communication.


 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2019-2215

Cite as: Hazan, V., Tuomainen, O., Taschenberger, L. (2019) Subjective Evaluation of Communicative Effort for Younger and Older Adults in Interactive Tasks with Energetic and Informational Masking. Proc. Interspeech 2019, 3098-3102, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2019-2215.


@inproceedings{Hazan2019,
  author={Valerie Hazan and Outi Tuomainen and Linda Taschenberger},
  title={{Subjective Evaluation of Communicative Effort for Younger and Older Adults in Interactive Tasks with Energetic and Informational Masking}},
  year=2019,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2019},
  pages={3098--3102},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2019-2215},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2019-2215}
}