Development of the Listening in Spatialized Noise-Sentences Test (LISN-S)
Ear and Hearing
Objective: The goals of this research were to develop and evaluate a new version of the Listening in Spatialized Noise Test (LISN ® ; Cameron, Dillon & Newall, 2006a) by incorporating a simplified and more objective response protocol to make the test suitable for assessing the ability of children as young as 5 yr to understand speech in background noise. The LISN-Sentences test (LISN-S; Cameron & Dillon, Reference Note 1) produces a three-dimensional auditory environment under headphones and is
... r headphones and is presented by using a personal computer. A simple repetition response protocol is used to determine speech reception thresholds (SRTs) for sentences presented in competing speech under various conditions. In four LISN-S conditions, the maskers are manipulated with respect to location (0°versus ؎90°azimuth) and vocal quality of the speaker(s) of the stories (same as, or different than, the speaker of the target sentences). Performance is measured as two SRT measures and three "advantage" measures. These advantage measures represent the benefit in decibels gained when either talker, spatial, or both talker and spatial cues combined, are incorporated in the maskers. This use of difference scores minimizes the effects of betweenlistener variation in factors such as linguistic skills and general cognitive ability on LISN-S performance. Design: An initial experiment was conducted to determine the relative intelligibility of the sentences used in the test. Up to 30 sentences were presented adaptively to 24 children ages 8 to 9 yr to estimate the SRT (eSRT). Fifty sentences each were then presented at each participant's eSRT, eSRT ؉2 dB, and eSRT ؊2 dB. Psychometric functions were fitted and the sentences were adjusted in amplitude for equal intelligibility. After adjustment, intelligibility increased across sentences by approximately 17% for each 1 dB increase in signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). A second experiment was conducted to gather normative data on the LISN-S from 82 children with normal hearing, ages 5 to 11 yr.