The relationship between working memory capacity and temporal and dichotic auditory processing in teachers
Background and Aim: Because speech perception is disturbed in people who are exposed to noise, this study aimed to investigate the effect of work environment noise on working memory capacity, temporal, and dichotic auditory processing and relationship between them in elementary school teachers.
Methods: Fifty-six female aged 30−50 years were enrolled in our study case and control groups. A total of 28 teachers with normal hearing and poor speech perception in noise were in the case group, and 28 women were controls with normal hearing and good scores in speech perception in noise who did not work in a noisy environment. Working memory tests, dichotic digit test (DDT) and gap-detection test (GDT) were performed for both groups. The mean score of each test was obtained from the two groups and the results were analyzed.
Results: Comparison of means between the two groups in DDT, GDT, and working memory capacity test showed that the scores of the case group were significantly lower than those in the control group (p < 0.05). There was no correlation between working memory capacity test, DDT, and GDT scores. (p > 0.05, r < 0.1).
Conclusion: Noise exposure in the work environment causes weakness in temporal and dichotic auditory processing, and working memory capacity. But there was no correlation between working memory capacity and auditory processing. The findings of this study show the effects of noise exposure on speech perception and the need to protect hearing from noise.
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