ResearchPad - Speech and Hearing Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Benefits to Speech Perception in Noise From the Binaural Integration of Electric and Acoustic Signals in Simulated Unilateral Deafness]]> <![CDATA[Viscosity Is Not a Parameter of Postdeglutitive Pharyngeal Residue: Quantification and Analysis with Scintigraphy]]>

The aim of this study was to explore the influence of viscosity on pharyngeal residue in normal healthy volunteers. Scintigraphy was used to measure pharyngeal residue in 11 healthy volunteers after swallowing three different substances (age = 20.2–48.3 years). The first substance was a 10-ml solution of tap water with 0.5% xanthan with a viscosity of 4500 mPa s, comparable to a yogurt drink. The second and third substances were a 0.75% xanthan and a 1.00% xanthan solution, with viscosities of 10,500 and 21,000 mPa s, comparable to low-fat yogurt and 3% fat yogurt, respectively. Tap water was used as the control substance. Mean pharyngeal residue after swallowing tap water was 2.3% (SD = 1.2) of the initial volume in the oral cavity. Pharyngeal residue after swallowing 0.5% xanthan solution was 1.8% (SD = 0.8), after swallowing 0.75% xanthan solution 2.6% (SD = 2.2), and after swallowing 1.00% xanthan solution 2.8% (SD = 1.7). No significant correlation between increase of viscosity and pharyngeal residue was found. In healthy persons viscosity does not seem to be a significant parameter for pharyngeal residue for boluses with viscosities ranging from tap water to solutions having a viscosity comparable to 3% fat yogurt.

<![CDATA[Hearing Instruments for Unilateral Severe-to-Profound Sensorineural Hearing Loss in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis]]>


A systematic review of the literature and meta-analysis was conducted to assess the nature and quality of the evidence for the use of hearing instruments in adults with a unilateral severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss.


The PubMed, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Cochrane, CINAHL, and DARE databases were searched with no restrictions on language. The search included articles from the start of each database until February 11, 2015. Studies were included that (a) assessed the impact of any form of hearing instrument, including devices that reroute signals between the ears or restore aspects of hearing to a deaf ear, in adults with a sensorineural severe to profound loss in one ear and normal or near-normal hearing in the other ear; (b) compared different devices or compared a device with placebo or the unaided condition; (c) measured outcomes in terms of speech perception, spatial listening, or quality of life; (d) were prospective controlled or observational studies. Studies that met prospectively defined criteria were subjected to random effects meta-analyses.


Twenty-seven studies reported in 30 articles were included. The evidence was graded as low-to-moderate quality having been obtained primarily from observational before-after comparisons. The meta-analysis identified statistically significant benefits to speech perception in noise for devices that rerouted the speech signals of interest from the worse ear to the better ear using either air or bone conduction (mean benefit, 2.5 dB). However, these devices also degraded speech understanding significantly and to a similar extent (mean deficit, 3.1 dB) when noise was rerouted to the better ear. Data on the effects of cochlear implantation on speech perception could not be pooled as the prospectively defined criteria for meta-analysis were not met. Inconsistency in the assessment of outcomes relating to sound localization also precluded the synthesis of evidence across studies. Evidence for the relative efficacy of different devices was sparse but a statistically significant advantage was observed for rerouting speech signals using abutment-mounted bone conduction devices when compared with outcomes after preoperative trials of air conduction devices when speech and noise were colocated (mean benefit, 1.5 dB). Patients reported significant improvements in hearing-related quality of life with both rerouting devices and following cochlear implantation. Only two studies measured health-related quality of life and findings were inconclusive.


Devices that reroute sounds from an ear with a severe to profound hearing loss to an ear with minimal hearing loss may improve speech perception in noise when signals of interest are located toward the impaired ear. However, the same device may also degrade speech perception as all signals are rerouted indiscriminately, including noise. Although the restoration of functional hearing in both ears through cochlear implantation could be expected to provide benefits to speech perception, the inability to synthesize evidence across existing studies means that such a conclusion cannot yet be made. For the same reason, it remains unclear whether cochlear implantation can improve the ability to localize sounds despite restoring bilateral input. Prospective controlled studies that measure outcomes consistently and control for selection and observation biases are required to improve the quality of the evidence for the provision of hearing instruments to patients with unilateral deafness and to support any future recommendations for the clinical management of these patients.

<![CDATA[Genome-Wide Association Study of Receptive Language Ability of 12-Year-Olds]]>


Researchers have previously shown that individual differences in measures of receptive language ability at age 12 are highly heritable. In the current study, the authors attempted to identify some of the genes responsible for the heritability of receptive language ability using a genome-wide association approach.


The authors administered 4 Internet-based measures of receptive language (vocabulary, semantics, syntax, and pragmatics) to a sample of 2,329 twelve-year-olds for whom DNA and genome-wide genotyping were available. Nearly 700,000 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and 1 million imputed SNPs were included in a genome-wide association analysis of receptive language composite scores.


No SNP associations met the demanding criterion of genome-wide significance that corrects for multiple testing across the genome (p < 5 × 10–8). The strongest SNP association did not replicate in an additional sample of 2,639 twelve-year-olds.


These results indicate that individual differences in receptive language ability in the general population do not reflect common genetic variants that account for more than 3% of the phenotypic variance. The search for genetic variants associated with language skill will require larger samples and additional methods to identify and functionally characterize the full spectrum of risk variants.

<![CDATA[Age-Related Changes in Cognition and Speech Perception]]>

Aging is one of the most evident biological processes, but its mechanisms are still poorly understood. Studies of cognitive aging suggest that age is associated with cognitive decline; however, there may be individual differences such that not all older adults will experience cognitive decline. That is, cognitive decline is not intrinsic to aging, but there is some heterogeneity. Many researchers have shown that speech recognition declines with increasing age. Some of the age-related decline in speech perception can be accounted for by peripheral sensory problems but cognitive aging can also be a contributing factor. The potential sources of reduced recognition for rapid speech in the aged are reduction in processing time and reduction of the acoustic information in the signal. However, other studies also indicated that speech perception does not decline with age. Cognitive abilities are inherently involved in speech processing. Two cognitive factors that decline with age may influence speech perception performance. The first factor is working memory capacity and the second factor concerns the rate of information processing, defined generally as the speed at which an individual can extract content and construct meaning from a rapid signal. Cognitive function shows the adaptive processes with age which are consistent with the view that the brain itself has potentially a life-long capacity for neural plasticity. Assessing the speech perception difficulty in older adults, cognitive function could be considered in the evaluation and management of speech perception problem.