Recognition and comprehension of “narrow focus” (Segal & Kishon-Rabin, 2017)

2017-11-09T18:39:48Z (GMT) by Osnat Segal Liat Kishon-Rabin
<div><b>Purpose: </b>The stressed word in a sentence (narrow focus [NF]) conveys information about the intent of the speaker and is therefore important for processing spoken language and in social interactions. The ability of participants with severe-to-profound prelingual hearing loss to comprehend NF has rarely been investigated. The purpose of this study was to assess the recognition and comprehension of NF by young adults with prelingual hearing loss compared with those of participants with normal hearing (NH).</div><div><b>Method: </b>The participants included young adults with hearing aids (HA; <i>n</i> = 10), cochlear implants (CI; <i>n</i> = 12), and NH (<i>n</i> = 18). The test material included the Hebrew Narrow Focus Test (Segal, Kaplan, Patael, & Kishon-Rabin, in press), with 3 subtests, which was used to assess the recognition and comprehension of NF in different contexts.</div><div><b>Results: </b>The following results were obtained: (a) CI and HA users successfully recognized the stressed word, with the worst performance for CI; (b) HA and CI comprehended NF less well than NH; and (c) the comprehension of NF was associated with verbal working memory and expressive vocabulary in CI users.</div><div><b>Conclusions: </b>Most CI and HA users were able to <i>recognize</i> the stressed word in a sentence but had considerable difficulty <i>understanding</i> it. Different factors may contribute to this difficulty, including the memory load during the task itself and linguistic and pragmatic abilities.</div><div><br></div><div><b>Supplemental Material S1.</b> Mean (<i>M</i>) and standard deviation (<i>SD</i>) of duration (in ms), fundamental frequency (in Hz) and intensity (RMS units) of the stressed vowel in the word carrying "narrow focus" compared to stressed vowels in the other words in the sentence. Also shown are the results of the statistical analyses comparing the measured acoustic parameters in the vowels carrying "narrow focus" to those measured in other stressed vowels in the sentence for each of the subtests.</div><div><br></div><div>Segal, O., & Kishon-Rabin, L. (2017). Recognition and comprehension of "narrow focus" by young adults with prelingual hearing loss using hearing aids and cochlear implants.<i> Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research</i>. Advance online publication.</div>