Older listeners with high-frequency hearing loss rely more on intensity for categorisation of /s/ than normal-hearing older listeners. This study addresses the question whether this increased reliance comes about immediately when the need arises, i.e., in the face of a spectrally-degraded signal. A phonetic categorisation task was carried out using intensity-modulated fricatives in a clean and a low-pass filtered condition with two younger and two older listener groups. When high-frequency information was removed from the speech signal, younger listeners started using intensity as a cue. The older adults on the other hand, when presented with the lowpass filtered speech, did not rely on intensity differences for fricative identification. These results suggest that the reliance on intensity shown by the older hearing-impaired adults may have been acquired only gradually with longer exposure to a degraded speech signal.
Bibliographic reference. Scharenborg, Odette / Janse, Esther (2013): "Changes in the role of intensity as a cue for fricative categorisation", In INTERSPEECH-2013, 3147-3151.