Neural representation of amplified speech sounds

Kelly L. Tremblay, Curtis J. Billings, Lendra M. Friesen, Pamela E. Souza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To determine if (1) evoked potentials elicited by amplified speech sounds (/si/ and /∫i/) can be recorded reliably in individuals, (2) amplification alters neural response patterns, and (3) different amplified speech sounds evoke different neural patterns. DESIGN: Cortical evoked potentials were recorded in sound field from seven normal-hearing young adults in response to naturally produced speech tokens /si/ and /∫i/ from the Nonsense Syllable Test. With the use of a repeated-measures design, subjects were tested and then retested within an 8-day period in both aided and unaided conditions. RESULTS: (1) Speech-evoked cortical potentials can be recorded reliably in individuals in both aided and unaided conditions. (2) Hearing aids that provide a mild high-frequency gain only subtly enhance peak amplitudes relative to unaided cortical recordings. (3) If the consonant-vowel boundary is preserved by the hearing aid, it can also be detected neurally, resulting in different neural response patterns for /si/ and /∫i/. CONCLUSIONS: Speech-evoked cortical potentials can be recorded reliably in individuals during hearing aid use. A better understanding of how amplification (and device settings) affects neural response patterns is still needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-103
Number of pages11
JournalEar and hearing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Speech and Hearing


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