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Open Access Modeling Individual Differences in Cocktail Party Listening

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A simulated 'cocktail-party' listening experiment was conducted to determine the relative role of decision weights and internal noise in accounting for the large individual differences in performance typically observed in these experiments. The listener heard over headphones interleaved sequences of random vowels and were asked to judge on each trial whether the vowels were spoken by the same BBB or different ABA talkers. The A and B vowels had nominally different fundamental frequency (F 0) and spatial position (simulated using Kemar HRTFs), but were randomly perturbed around these values on each presentation. Decision weights for each dimension, internal noise, and efficiency measures were estimated using COSS analysis [1]. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 88 149– 158. Decision weights differed across listeners, but weighting efficiency was quite similar. Individual differences in performance accuracy ranging over 40 percentage points were largely related to differences in internal noise. The results are discussed in terms of their implications for the relative role of sensory and attentional factors affecting individual performance differences in simulated cocktail party listening.

© 2018 The Author(s). Published by S. Hirzel Verlag · EAA. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license (

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2018

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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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