This study investigated the effect of hearing six background noise conditions (silent baseline, pink noise, monologue, lively conversation, one-sided phone call, and cocktail noise) on acoustic measures of speech production during story retells in people with aphasia. Eleven individuals with aphasia and 11 age- and gender-matched control participants took part in the study. Participants heard the background noise conditions through open-back headphones while they retold six short stories. The examiner calculated mean and standard deviation of intensity, mean and standard deviation of fundamental frequency (F0), and speech rate in words per minute. A Matlab application that identified pauses (i.e., periods of silence greater than 200 ms) computed a speaking time ratio measure (i.e., time speaking versus time pausing). With the exception of the monologue and one-sided phone call condition, both people with aphasia and control participants significantly increase their intensity and F0 in the presence of background noise. Additionally, participants with aphasia have significantly lower speaking time ratios and speaking rates when compared to control participants. Participants make acoustic changes while hearing background noise; speech intensity rises in an effort to increase the signal-to-noise ratio, while mean F0 increases due to a presumed rise in subglottal pressure. Further research is suggested to investigate other acoustic differences, possibly at the segmental level, between speech produced in informational and energetic background noise.
College and Department
David O. McKay School of Education; Communication Disorders
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Dixon, Kirsten, "Effects of Background Noise on the Speech Acoustics of People With Aphasia" (2021). Theses and Dissertations. 9224.
aphasia, selective attention, speech acoustics, informational noise, energetic noise