Medizinische Physik

A Spanish matrix sentence test for assessing speech reception thresholds in noise

Hochmuth S, Brand T, Zokoll MA, Castro FZ, Wardenga N, Kollmeier B (2012)
International Journal of Audiology 51(7): 536-544
July 2012

Objective: To develop, optimize, and evaluate a new Spanish sentence test in noise.
Design: The test comprises a basic matrix of ten names, verbs, numerals, nouns, and adjectives. From this matrix, test lists of ten sentences with an equal syntactical structure can be formed at random, with each list containing the whole speech material. The speech material represents the phoneme distribution of the Spanish language. The test was optimized for measuring speech reception thresholds (SRTs) in noise by adjusting the presentation levels of the individual words. Subsequently, the test was evaluated by independent measurements investigating the training effects, the comparability of test lists, open-set vs. closed-set test format, and performance of listeners of different Spanish varieties. Study sample: In total, 68 normal-hearing native Spanish-speaking listeners.
Results: SRTs measured using an adaptive procedure were 6.2 ± 0.8 dB SNR for the open-set and 7.2 ± 0.7 dB SNR for the closed-set test format. The residual training effect was less than 1 dB after using two double-lists before data collection.
Conclusions: No significant differences were found for listeners of different Spanish varieties indicating that the test is applicable to Spanish as well as Latin American listeners. Test lists can be used interchangeably.

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