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Effect of Familiar Masking Background on Target Speech Recognition

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Real auditory environments are usually complex. The acoustic signals reaching our ears are mixtures of target and background masking sounds. It has been demonstrated before that the human auditory system can separate target speech from a masking background more easily when the listener have been cued to the target beforehand. However, less data are avaliable concerning the influence of masker cues on the ability to recognize the target speech. A psychoacoustic experiment conducted in this study indicates that cueing the listener to the masker for a short time actually impairs, rather than improves, performance. It suggests that the prior knowledge of the masker enhances the informational masking and makes the target recognition difficult. We conclude that the human auditory system is involved in a performance of only enhancing the familiar target, but not suppressing the familiar masker speech signals.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2012

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  • Acta Acustica united with Acustica, published together with the European Acoustics Association (EAA), is an international, peer-reviewed journal on acoustics. It publishes original articles on all subjects in the field of acoustics, such as general linear acoustics, nonlinear acoustics, macrosonics, flow acoustics, atmospheric sound, underwater sound, ultrasonics, physical acoustics, structural acoustics, noise control, active control, environmental noise, building acoustics, room acoustics, acoustic materials, acoustic signal processing, computational and numerical acoustics, hearing, audiology and psychoacoustics, speech, musical acoustics, electroacoustics, auditory quality of systems. It reports on original scientific research in acoustics and on engineering applications. The journal considers scientific papers, technical and applied papers, book reviews, short communications, doctoral thesis abstracts, etc. In irregular intervals also special issues and review articles are published.
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