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Auditory externalization in hearing-impaired listeners: The effect of pinna cues and number of talkers
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FIG. 1.

Average externalization ratings of 1 talker and 4 talkers (panel row) for NH (open circles) and HI (closed circles) participants against mix point as a function of microphone position (ITE/BTE) and frequency response (BB/LP). The reference condition (ref) is the same as ITE/BB. Error bars show 95% confidence intervals. Despite large variations between participants, significant differences can be seen for the 100% mix in the ITE/BB condition (upper right panel) and the lower percentage mixes in the other panels.


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Analysis of variance of responses. Statistically significant effects are in bold. The first column is the source of the effect, column 2 the degrees of freedom (df), followed by the F ratio and probability (p) value for the effect.


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Hearing-aid wearers have reported sound source locations as being perceptually internalized (i.e., inside their head). The contribution of hearing-aid design to internalization has, however, received little attention. This experiment compared the sensitivity of hearing-impaired (HI) and normal-hearing listeners to externalization cues when listening with their own ears and simulated behind-the-ear hearing-aids in increasingly complex listening situations and reduced pinna cues. Participants rated the degree of externalization using a multiple-stimulus listening test for mixes of internalized and externalized speech stimuli presented over headphones. The results showed that HI listeners had a contracted perception of externalization correlated with high-frequency hearing loss.


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Scitation: Auditory externalization in hearing-impaired listeners: The effect of pinna cues and number of talkers