Task- and talker-specific gains in auditory training

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Purpose: This investigation focused on generalization of outcomes for auditory training by examining the effects of task and/or talker overlap between training and at test. Method: Adults with hearing loss completed 12 hr of meaning-oriented auditory training and were placed in a group that trained on either multiple talkers or a single talker. A control group also completed 12 hr of training in American Sign Language. The experimental group’s training included a 4-choice discrimination task but not an open-set sentence test. The assessment phase included the same 4-choice discrimination task and an open-set sentence test, the Iowa Sentences Test (Tyler, Preece, & Tye-Murray, 1986). Results: Improvement on 4-choice discrimination was observed in the experimental group as compared with the control group. Gains were (a) highest when the task and talker were the same between training and assessment; (b) second highest when the task was the same but the talker only partially so; and (c) third highest when task and talker were different. Conclusions: The findings support applications of transfer-appropriate processing to auditory training and favor tailoring programs toward the specific needs of the individuals being trained for tasks, talkers, and perhaps, for stimuli, in addition to other factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)862-870
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2016


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