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  • 1.
    Ljung, Robert
    et al.
    Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för bygg- energi- och miljöteknik, Miljöpsykologi.
    Maccutcheon, Douglas
    Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för bygg- energi- och miljöteknik, Miljöpsykologi.
    Pausch, Florian
    RWTH Aachen Institut für Technische Akustik, Aachen, Tyskland.
    Fels, Janina
    RWTH Aachen Institut für Technische Akustik, Aachen, Tyskland.
    Top-Down Cognitive Factors Influence Second-Language Word Identification in Noise2017Inngår i: Abstracts of the Psychonomic Society, 2017, Vol. 22, s. 291-291, artikkel-id 5109Konferansepaper (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    Forty-four sequential bilingual children aged fifteen underwent assessments of speech-in-noise perception, first and second language vocabulary and auditory working memory (forward digit span). In order to investigate the signal driven processes might affect bilinguals’ “spatial release from masking” (SRM) a listening in spatialized noise paradigm was adapted for the bilingual context. A simple number and colour identification task presented in English and Swedish, and the talker was masked adaptively by speech-shaped noise and eight-talker babble under two spatialized conditions in simulated room acoustics; targets and maskers were either collocated at zero degrees azimuth or spatially separated at ninety degrees azimuth to either side. The resulting language and noise conditions were contrasted with existing research on bilingual adults and native-language speaking children, extending findings to a younger sample of sequential bilingual children. The results indicating a significant relationship between cognitive ability and second-language speech reception threshold.

  • 2.
    MacCutcheon, Douglas
    et al.
    Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för byggnadsteknik, energisystem och miljövetenskap, Miljövetenskap.
    Hurtig, Anders
    Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för byggnadsteknik, energisystem och miljövetenskap, Miljövetenskap.
    Pausch, Florian
    Aachen University, Aachen, Germany.
    Hygge, Staffan
    Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för byggnadsteknik, energisystem och miljövetenskap, Miljövetenskap.
    Fels, Janina
    Aachen University, Aachen, Germany.
    Ljung, Robert
    Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för byggnadsteknik, energisystem och miljövetenskap, Miljövetenskap.
    Second language vocabulary level is related to benefits for second language listening comprehension under lower reverberation time conditions2019Inngår i: Journal of Cognitive Psychology, ISSN 2044-5911, E-ISSN 2044-592X, Vol. 31, nr 2, s. 175-185Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    The acoustic qualities of a room can have a deleterious effect on the quality of speech signals. The acoustic measurement of reverberation time (RT) has shown to impact second language (L2) speech comprehension positively when lower due to release from spectral and temporal masking effects as well as top-down processing factors. This auralization experiment investigated the benefits of better L2 vocabulary and executive function (updating) skills during L2 listening comprehension tests under shorter versus longer RT conditions (0.3 and 0.9 s). 57 bilingual university students undertook L2 vocabulary, number updating and L2 listening comprehension tests. After splitting groups into high/low vocabulary and updating groups, a mixed ANOVA was conducted. The high number updating group showed no significant differences or interactions in L2 listening comprehension than the lower number updating group across RT conditions. The high vocabulary group had 22% better L2 listening comprehension than the low vocabulary group in long RT, and 9% better in short RT. A significant benefit in L2 listening comprehension due to release from reverberation was only evident in the high vocabulary group. Results indicate that the benefit of good room acoustics for listening comprehension is greatest for those with better language (vocabulary) ability.

  • 3.
    MacCutcheon, Douglas
    et al.
    Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för bygg- energi- och miljöteknik, Miljöpsykologi.
    Pausch, Florian
    Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany.
    Fels, Janina
    Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany.
    Ljung, Robert
    Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för bygg- energi- och miljöteknik, Miljöpsykologi.
    The effect of language, spatial factors, masker type and memory span on speech-in-noise thresholds in sequential bilingual children2018Inngår i: Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, ISSN 0036-5564, E-ISSN 1467-9450, Vol. 59, nr 6, s. 567-577Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    This study considers whether bilingual children listening in a second language are among those on which higher processing and cognitive demands are placed when noise is present. Forty-four Swedish sequential bilingual 15 year-olds were given memory span and vocabulary assessments in their first and second language (Swedish and English). First and second language speech reception thresholds (SRTs) at 50% intelligibility for numbers and colors presented in noise were obtained using an adaptive procedure. The target sentences were presented in simulated, virtual classroom acoustics, masked by either 16-talker multi-talker babble noise (MTBN) or speech shaped noise (SSN), positioned either directly in front of the listener (collocated with the target speech), or spatially separated from the target speech by 90° to either side. Main effects in the Spatial and Noise factors indicated that intelligibility was 3.8 dB lower in collocated conditions and 2.9 dB lower in MTBN conditions. SRTs were unexpectedly higher by 0.9 dB in second language conditions. Memory span significantly predicted 17% of the variance in the second language SRTs, and 9% of the variance in first language SRTs, indicating the possibility that the SRT task places higher cognitive demands when listening to second language speech than when the target is in the listener's first language.

  • 4.
    MacCutcheon, Douglas
    et al.
    Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för bygg- energi- och miljöteknik, Miljöpsykologi.
    Pausch, Florian
    RWTH Aachen University.
    Fels, Janina
    RWTH Aachen University.
    Ljung, Robert
    Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för bygg- energi- och miljöteknik, Miljöpsykologi.
    The relationship between working memory and second language speech reception thresholds in sequential bilingual children2017Inngår i: APCAM 2017: 16th Annual Auditory Perception, Cognition, and Action Meeting, 2017, s. 14-14Konferansepaper (Annet vitenskapelig)
    Abstract [en]

    This study considers whether or not bilingual school children listening and learning in a second language are among those on which higher perceptual processing and cognitive demands are placed when classroom noise is present. Empirical substantiation for this theory would include elevated speech reception thresholds (SRTs) for second language speech in noise, and native or second language-specific correlations between SRTs and cognitive measures such as working memory (WM) or factors such as the age at which the second language was acquired (age of second language acquisition). Forty-four Swedish sequential bilingual children with no sensory or learning deficits took part in this study. Working memory and vocabulary assessments were conducted and language background data were collected. SRTs at 50 % intelligibility were obtained using an adaptive procedure under Language, Spatial and Noise conditions. The target sentence was presented in simulated room acoustics in Swedish and English, masked by either 8-talker babble or speech shaped noise (SSN) with identical long-term average speech spectra, and noise maskers were positioned either directly in front of the listener or spatially separated from the target at 90° azimuth to either side. Main effects in the Spatial and Noise conditions indicated that spatial release from masking favoured spatially separated conditions and a noise release from masking advantage for SSN conditions, indicated by significantly lower thresholds for those conditions. There were no significant interactions with Language. The age of second language acquisition did not significantly predict second language SRTs and was excluded from the regression model. However, WM significantly predicted 21% of the variance in the second language SRTs, and 9% of the variance in native language SRTs. WM predicted more of the variance in second language SRTs than first language SRTs, suggesting that cognition plays more of a role in second language perceptual processes than native language ones.

  • 5.
    MacCutcheon, Douglas
    et al.
    Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för byggnadsteknik, energisystem och miljövetenskap, Miljövetenskap.
    Pausch, Florian
    Medical Acoustics Group, Institute of Technical Acoustics, Rheinisch Westfalische Technische Hochschule Aachen, Germany.
    Füllgrabe, Christian
    School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, UK.
    Eccles, Renata
    Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa.
    van der Linde, Jeannie
    Panebianco, Clorinda
    Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, University of Pretoria, South Africa.
    Fels, Janina
    Medical Acoustics Group, Institute of Technical Acoustics, Rheinisch Westfalische Technische Hochschule Aachen, Germany.
    Ljung, Robert
    Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för byggnadsteknik, energisystem och miljövetenskap, Miljövetenskap.
    The contribution of individual differences in memory span and language ability to spatial release from masking in young children2019Inngår i: Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research, ISSN 1092-4388, E-ISSN 1558-9102, Vol. 62, nr 10, s. 3741-3751Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: Working memory capacity and language ability modulate speech reception; however, the respective roles of peripheral and cognitive processing are unclear. The contribution of individual differences in these abilities to utilization of spatial cues when separating speech from informational and energetic masking backgrounds in children has not yet been determined. Therefore, this study explored whether speech reception in children is modulated by environmental factors, such as the type of background noise and spatial configuration of target and noise sources, and individual differences in the cognitive and linguistic abilities of listeners.

    Method: Speech reception thresholds were assessed in 39 children aged 5-7 years in simulated school listening environments. Speech reception thresholds of target sentences spoken by an adult male consisting of number and color combinations were measured using an adaptive procedure, with speech-shaped white noise and single-talker backgrounds that were either collocated (target and back-ground at 0°) or spatially separated (target at 0°, background noise at 90° to the right). Spatial release from masking was assessed alongside memory span and expressive language.

    Results and Conclusion: Significant main effect results showed that speech reception thresholds were highest for informational maskers and collocated conditions. Significant interactions indicated that individual differences in memory span and language ability were related to spatial release from masking advantages. Specifically, individual differences in memory span and language were related to the utilization of spatial cues in separated conditions. Language differences were related to auditory stream segregation abilities in collocated conditions that lack helpful spatial cues, pointing to the utilization of language processes to make up for losses in spatial information.

  • 6.
    Marsh, John E.
    et al.
    Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för bygg- energi- och miljöteknik, Miljöpsykologi.
    Ljung, Robert
    Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för bygg- energi- och miljöteknik, Miljöpsykologi.
    Jahncke, Helena
    Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för hälsa och arbetsliv, Avdelningen för arbets- och folkhälsovetenskap, Arbetshälsovetenskap. Högskolan i Gävle, Centrum för belastningsskadeforskning.
    MacCutcheon, Douglas
    Högskolan i Gävle, Akademin för teknik och miljö, Avdelningen för bygg- energi- och miljöteknik, Miljöpsykologi.
    Pausch, Florian
    Institute of Technical Acoustics, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany.
    Ball, Linden J.
    School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK 3.
    Vachon, François
    École de psychologie, Université Laval, Québec, Canada.
    Why are background telephone conversations distracting?2018Inngår i: Journal of experimental psychology. Applied, ISSN 1076-898X, E-ISSN 1939-2192, Vol. 24, nr 2, s. 222-235Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    Telephone conversation is ubiquitous within the office setting. Overhearing a telephone conversation-whereby only one of the two speakers is heard-is subjectively more annoying and objectively more distracting than overhearing a full conversation. The present study sought to determine whether this "halfalogue" effect is attributable to unexpected offsets and onsets within the background speech (acoustic unexpectedness) or to the tendency to predict the unheard part of the conversation (semantic [un]predictability), and whether these effects can be shielded against through top-down cognitive control. In Experiment 1, participants performed an office-related task in quiet or in the presence of halfalogue and dialogue background speech. Irrelevant speech was either meaningful or meaningless speech. The halfalogue effect was only present for the meaningful speech condition. Experiment 2 addressed whether higher task-engagement could shield against the halfalogue effect by manipulating the font of the to-be-read material. Although the halfalogue effect was found with an easy-to-read font (fluent text), the use of a difficult-to-read font (disfluent text) eliminated the effect. The halfalogue effect is thus attributable to the semantic (un)predictability, not the acoustic unexpectedness, of background telephone conversation and can be prevented by simple means such as increasing the level of engagement required by the focal task. 

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