Home > Events > HESP Seminar: Rebecca Bieber (HESP)
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HESP Seminar: Rebecca Bieber (HESP)

Time: 
Wednesday, October 25, 2017 - 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Location: 
Lefrak Hall 2208

Title: Adaptation to novel foreign-accented speech and retention of benefit following training: Influence of aging and hearing loss

Abstract:  Adaptation to speech with a foreign accent is possible through prior exposure to talkers with that same accent. For young listeners with normal hearing, short term, accent-independent adaptation to a novel foreign accent is also facilitated through exposure training with multiple foreign accents. In the present study, accent-independent adaptation is examined in younger and older listeners with normal hearing and older listeners with hearing loss. Retention of training benefit is additionally explored. Stimuli for testing and training were HINT sentences recorded by talkers with nine distinctly different accents. Following two training sessions, all listener groups showed a similar increase in speech perception for a novel foreign accent. While no group retained this benefit at one week post-training, results of a secondary reaction time task revealed a decrease in reaction time following training, suggesting reduced listening effort. Examination of listeners’ cognitive skills reveals a positive relationship between working memory and speech recognition ability. The present findings indicate that, while this no-feedback training paradigm for foreign-accented English is successful in promoting short term adaptation for listeners, this paradigm is not sufficient in facilitation of perceptual learning with lasting benefits for younger or older listeners.

Bio: Rebecca Bieber is a Ph.D. student in the University of Maryland's Hearing and Speech Science program. She received her Au.D. from the University of Maryland in 2017.  She has worked in the Hearing Lab for five years. Her capstone research investigated the effects of accented English on speech perception in younger and older listeners.