Title

LEARNING THE ROOM: PERCEPTUAL ADAPTATION TO POOR ROOM ACOUSTICS

Presenter Information

Jane Reynolds
Kaila Sullivan

Presentation Type

Poster

Abstract

Proper listening conditions are essential in any learning environment. In some classrooms however, conditions are simply not suitable for teaching or learning to occur effectively. Acoustic variables such as reverberation, background noise and the material from which the walls of a classroom are constructed can play a major role in student’s understanding of their teacher’s voice. Poor acoustics can be the cause of significant gaps and delays in the education of children with normal hearing and are especially detrimental for children with hearing loss. The most significant benefit to hearing well in a classroom is to reduce the deleterious effects of reverberation and background noise. This may not be economically feasible in many schools. From a practical and a theoretical perspective this research is able to answer questions of how speech is understood in acoustically distorted environments. This research was undertaken to understand the perceptual adaptation of room acoustics on speech perception. A closed set children’s test of speech recognition (WIPI) was presented to children 6-12 years of age under two conditions. In the first condition children were pre-exposed to a 2 minute exemplar of a children’s television program (Sponge Bob Square Pants) with high reverberation and background noise. In the second condition, the same exemplar was shown and heard without acoustic distortion. All children were tested with the WIPI speech discrimination task with all words processed with reverberation and background noise. The results of adaptation will be discussed in this presentation.

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Apr 15th, 3:00 PM Apr 15th, 4:00 PM

LEARNING THE ROOM: PERCEPTUAL ADAPTATION TO POOR ROOM ACOUSTICS

UC South Ballroom

Proper listening conditions are essential in any learning environment. In some classrooms however, conditions are simply not suitable for teaching or learning to occur effectively. Acoustic variables such as reverberation, background noise and the material from which the walls of a classroom are constructed can play a major role in student’s understanding of their teacher’s voice. Poor acoustics can be the cause of significant gaps and delays in the education of children with normal hearing and are especially detrimental for children with hearing loss. The most significant benefit to hearing well in a classroom is to reduce the deleterious effects of reverberation and background noise. This may not be economically feasible in many schools. From a practical and a theoretical perspective this research is able to answer questions of how speech is understood in acoustically distorted environments. This research was undertaken to understand the perceptual adaptation of room acoustics on speech perception. A closed set children’s test of speech recognition (WIPI) was presented to children 6-12 years of age under two conditions. In the first condition children were pre-exposed to a 2 minute exemplar of a children’s television program (Sponge Bob Square Pants) with high reverberation and background noise. In the second condition, the same exemplar was shown and heard without acoustic distortion. All children were tested with the WIPI speech discrimination task with all words processed with reverberation and background noise. The results of adaptation will be discussed in this presentation.