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Perceived listening effort was assessed for a monaural irregular-rhythm detection task while competing signals were presented to the contralateral ear. When speech was the competing signal, listeners reported greater listening effort compared to either contralateral steady-state noise or no competing signal. Behavioral thresholds for irregular-rhythm detection were unaffected by competing speech, indicating that listeners compensated for this competing signal with effortful listening. These results suggest that perceived listening effort may be associated with suppression of task-irrelevant information, even for conditions where informational masking and competition for linguistic processing resources would not be expected.


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