AuthorMoor, Jaclyn Marie
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractMultitasking in background noise may involve greater cognitive processing demands than multitasking in quiet due to an increase in perceptual demands (Rabbitt, 1968; Pichora-Fuller & Schneider, 2000). This study investigated the effect of background noise in the listening environment on the ability of young adults with normal hearing and older adults with sensorineural hearing loss to perceive speech while performing a secondary task. A dual task paradigm, which included word recognition and visual serial recall, was used to examine ability to divide limited processing resources between two tasks. The number of digits to be recalled was varied in order to test the hypothesis that background noise would degrade multitasking abilities to a greater degree than in quiet for more difficult tasks. Participants included 37 native English speakers between 19-25 years of age with pure-tone thresholds better than or equal to 20 dB HL and 10 English speakers between 58-85 years of age with pure-tone thresholds greater than or equal to 25 dB HL in both ears. The results showed that background noise can have negative effects on the ability to multitask for both younger adults with normal hearing and older adults with hearing loss; however, this effect was greater for the older adults with hearing loss, especially when task demands were increased.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences