Objective: To investigate the relationship between speech auditory brainstem responses (speech ABRs) and word intelligibility under reverberation in elderly adults. Methods: Word intelligibility for words under four reverberation times (RTs) of 0, 0.5, 1.0, 1.5. s, and speech ABRs to the speech syllable/da/ were obtained from 30 elderly listeners. Root mean square (RMS) amplitudes and discrete Fourier transform (DFT) amplitudes were calculated for ADD and SUB responses in the speech ABRs. Results: No significant correlations were found between the word intelligibility scores under reverberation and the ADD response components. However, in the SUB responses we found that the DFT amplitudes associated with H4-SUB, H5-SUB, H8-SUB, H9-SUB and H10-SUB significantly correlated with the word intelligibility scores for words under reverberation. With Bonferroni correction, the DFT amplitudes for H5-SUB and the intelligibility scores for words with the RT of 0.5s and 1.5s were significant. Conclusions: Word intelligibility under reverberation in elderly listeners is related to their ability to encode the temporal fine structure of speech. Significance: The results expand knowledge about subcortical responses of elderly listeners in daily-life listening situations. The SUB responses of speech ABR could be useful as an objective indicator to predict word intelligibility under reverberation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sensory Systems
- Clinical Neurology
- Physiology (medical)