Interactions between listening effort and masker type on the energetic and informational masking of speech stimuli

Douglas Brungart*, Nandini Iyer, Eric R. Thompson, Brian D. Simpson, Sandra Gordon-Salant, Jaclyn Schurman, Chelsea Vogel, Kenneth Grant

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In most cases, normal-hearing listeners perform better when a target speech signal is masked by a single irrelevant speech masker than they do with a noise masker at an equivalent signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). However, this relative advantage for segregating target speech from a speech masker versus a noise masker may not come without a cost: segregating speech from speech may require the allocation of additional cognitive resources that are not required to segregate speech from noise. The cognitive resources required to extract a target speech signal from different backgrounds can be assessed by varying the complexity of the listening task. Examples include: 1) contrasting the difference between the detection of a speech signal and the correct identification of its contents; 2) contrasting the difference between single-task diotic and dual-task dichotic listening tasks; and 3) contrasting the difference between standard listening tasks and one-back tasks where listeners must keep one response in memory during each stimulus presentation. By examining performance with different kinds of maskers in tasks with different levels of complexity, we can start to determine the impact that the informational and energetic components of masking have on the listening effort required to understand speech in complex environments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number060146
JournalProceedings of Meetings on Acoustics
StatePublished - 2013
Event21st International Congress on Acoustics, ICA 2013 - 165th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America - Montreal, QC, Canada
Duration: 2 Jun 20137 Jun 2013


Dive into the research topics of 'Interactions between listening effort and masker type on the energetic and informational masking of speech stimuli'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this