Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name





Meital Avivi-Reich

Subject Categories

Speech and Hearing Science | Speech Pathology and Audiology


auditory training, talker familiarity, noise-vocoded


Auditory training studies utilizing stimuli that are applicable to real-world processing of speech have been shown to improve speech perception abilities in normal hearing populations, those with hearing loss, and cochlear implant wearers. In particular, exposing normal hearing adults to noise-vocoded speech via auditory training studies has been shown to not only simulate the perceptual experience of a cochlear implant wearer, but have demonstrated promising improvements on speech perceptual abilities via the training paradigm. Additionally, studies have highlighted various variables that impact speech perception, including, talker familiarity. Talker familiarity has been shown to enhance speech perception both in listeners with normal hearing and those with hearing loss. This study aims to create a multi-session training program using a population of normal hearing adults during which listeners would be exposed to either natural or noise-vocoded sentences. After completing three training sessions over a week, participants will be asked to recognize noise-vocoded sentences spoken by the same talker they have been exposed to during training as well as an unfamiliar talker they have not been exposed to previously. In particular, this portion of the larger study will focus on talker familiarity and the impacts of training listeners on familiar versus unfamiliar speakers in relation to noise vocoded speech perception performance. This study is unique in that it is the first study to investigate both talker familiarity and noise vocoded speech familiarity in the scope of a multi-session auditory training program. The results of the suggested study may also illuminate which training conditions could potentially optimize the improvement in noise-vocoded speech perception. The findings from this study may be useful for further research pertaining to those with hearing loss and/or those with cochlear implants and potentially assist in designing a preimplantation training program to assist patients’ transition to CI.