Title

Learning the Room

Presenter Information

Lindsey Schwickert

Presentation Type

Poster

Abstract

Learning the room: Perceptual adaptation to poor room acoustics Proper listening conditions are essential in any learning environment. In general, however, most classrooms listening conditions are simply not suitable for teaching or learning to occur effectively. Learning the Room is a research project analyzing the effect of exposure to reverberation and noise in children. Acoustic variables such as reverberation, background noise and even the material from which the walls of a classroom are constructed can play a major role in a 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 will be to reduce the deleterious effects of reverberation and background noise. Unfortunately, improving classroom acoustics 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 using 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) without acoustic distortion. In the second condition, the same exemplar was shown and heard with high-level reverberation and background noise. All children were tested with the WIPI speech discrimination task with all words processed with reverberation and background noise.

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Apr 13th, 11:00 AM Apr 13th, 12:00 PM

Learning the Room

UC Ballroom

Learning the room: Perceptual adaptation to poor room acoustics Proper listening conditions are essential in any learning environment. In general, however, most classrooms listening conditions are simply not suitable for teaching or learning to occur effectively. Learning the Room is a research project analyzing the effect of exposure to reverberation and noise in children. Acoustic variables such as reverberation, background noise and even the material from which the walls of a classroom are constructed can play a major role in a 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 will be to reduce the deleterious effects of reverberation and background noise. Unfortunately, improving classroom acoustics 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 using 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) without acoustic distortion. In the second condition, the same exemplar was shown and heard with high-level reverberation and background noise. All children were tested with the WIPI speech discrimination task with all words processed with reverberation and background noise.