Srikar Vijayasarathy1, Animesh Barman2
Department of Audiology, JSS Institute of Speech and Hearing, Mysuru, India
2Department of Audiology, All India Institute of Speech and Hearing, Mysuru, India

The study investigated illusory auditory continuity percept of the vowel /a/, and its relationship with the phonemic restoration of speech in noise in 25 individuals with normal hearing. The perception of continuity for the interrupted vowel /a/ was measured with eight different signal-to-noise ratios of speech-shaped noise (-10 t0 +4 dB SNR in 2 dB steps). Subgroups were identified using cluster analysis (Hierarchical and K-Means). Phonemic restoration in noise was measured for sentences interrupted with silence and -10 dB SNR speech-shaped noise. The correlation between continuity perception and phonemic restoration was investigated. Listeners could be classified into high and low continuity groups based on their continuity rating at poor signal-to-noise ratios. They could be further divided into two subtypes within each group based on the pattern of continuity perception change across signal-to-noise ratios. Correlational analysis indicated that those with a high continuity percept tended to benefit more from phonemic restoration. Individual differences in the dependence on top-down and bottom-up strategies can explain these findings.

Acknowledgements: We are grateful to the participants of the study for their patient co-operation.