Auditory training with frequent communication partners

Nancy Tye-Murray, Brent Spehar, Mitchell Sommers, Joe Barcroft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Purpose: Individuals with hearing loss engage in auditory training to improve their speech recognition. They typically practice listening to utterances spoken by unfamiliar talkers but never to utterances spoken by their most frequent communication partner (FCP)—speech they most likely desire to recognize—under the assumption that familiarity with the FCP’s speech limits potential gains. This study determined whether auditory training with the speech of an individual’s FCP, in this case their spouse, would lead to enhanced recognition of their spouse’s speech. Method: Ten couples completed a 6-week computerized auditory training program in which the spouse recorded the stimuli and the participant (partner with hearing loss) completed auditory training that presented recordings of their spouse. Results: Training led participants to better discriminate their FCP’s speech. Responses on the Client Oriented Scale of Improvement (Dillon, James, & Ginis, 1997) indicated subjectively that training reduced participants’ communication difficulties. Peformance on a word identification task did not change. Conclusions: Results suggest that auditory training might improve the ability of older participants with hearing loss to recognize the speech of their spouse and might improve communication interactions between couples. The results support a task-appropriate processing framework of learning, which assumes that human learning depends on the degree of similarity between training tasks and desired outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)871-875
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2016


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