Effect of hearing aid amplitude compression on emotional speech recognition
AbstractBackground and Aim: Understanding emotion is crucial for human social interactions. Amplitude compression in hearing aids affects acoustical characteristics of incoming sound, which is necessary for emotion recognition. The present study investigated this effect(s).Methods: Hearing aid amplitude compression on Persian emotional speech database (ESD) was simulated using MATLAB software. Three types of hearing loss including high tone loss (HTL), low tone loss (LTL), and flat were simulated using three amplification methods, i.e. fast-acting compression (FAC), slow-acting compression (SAC), and linear. Forty normal hearing young adult subjects (aged 20-35 years, mean and SD: 26.98±4.50) with no depression participated in this study. Emotion recognition before and after hearing aid compression simulation was compared statistically using independent t-test considering p<0.05 as the significance level.Results: Fear, sad, angry, and happy emotion recognition are statistically different in all three types of simulated hearing loss, whereas disgust emotion recognition is affected only in LTL. There is no statistical difference in neutral emotion recognition in all three types of simulated hearing loss. There are significant differences in sad, angry, and happy emotion recognition in FAC while SAC does not affect statistical differences in all emotions except in happy utterance. Fear, sad, and angry emotion recognition are statistically different in linear amplification.Conclusion: Emotion recognition reduces after hearing aid amplitude compression simulation. Statistically significant differences in emotion recognition depend on emotions such as happy, fear, angry, type of simulated hearing loss such as HTL, LTL, and flat; amplification methods such as FAC, SAC, and linear.
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