Reliability and repeatability of the speech cue profile

Pamela Souza, Richard Wright, Frederick Gallun, Paul Reinhart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: Researchers have long noted speech recognition variability that is not explained by the pure-tone audiogram. Previous work (Souza, Wright, Blackburn, Tatman, & Gallun, 2015) demonstrated that a small number of listeners with sensorineural hearing loss utilized different types of acoustic cues to identify speechlike stimuli, specifically the extent to which the participant relied upon spectral (or temporal) information for identification. Consistent with recent calls for data rigor and reproducibility, the primary aims of this study were to replicate the pattern of cue use in a larger cohort and to verify stability of the cue profiles over time. Method: Cue-use profiles were measured for adults with sensorineural hearing loss using a syllable identification task consisting of synthetic speechlike stimuli in which spectral and temporal dimensions were manipulated along continua. For the first set, a static spectral shape varied from alveolar to palatal, and a temporal envelope rise time varied from affricate to fricative. For the second set, formant transitions varied from labial to alveolar and a temporal envelope rise time varied from approximant to stop. A discriminant feature analysis was used to determine to what degree spectral and temporal information contributed to stimulus identification. A subset of participants completed a 2nd visit using the same stimuli and procedures. Results: When spectral information was static, most participants were more influenced by spectral than by temporal information. When spectral information was dynamic, participants demonstrated a balanced distribution of cue-use patterns, with nearly equal numbers of individuals influenced by spectral or temporal cues. Individual cue profile was repeatable over a period of several months. Conclusion: In combination with previously published data, these results indicate that listeners with sensorineural hearing loss are influenced by different cues to identify speechlike sounds and that those patterns are stable over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2126-2137
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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