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Enhancing Speech Recognition in Adverse Listening Environments: The Impact of Brief Musical Training on Older Adults
The present research investigated the effects of short-term musical training on speech recognition in adverse listening conditions in older adults. A total of 30 Kannada-speaking participants with no history of gross otologic, neurologic, or cognitive problems were divided equally into experimental (M = 63 years) and control groups (M = 65 years). Baseline and follow-up assessments for speech in noise (SNR50) and reverberation was carried out for both groups. The participants in the experimental group were subjected to Carnatic classical music training, which lasted for seven days. The Bayesian likelihood estimates revealed no difference in SNR50 and speech recognition scores in reverberation between baseline and followed-up assessment for the control group. Whereas, in the experimental group, the SNR50 reduced, and speech recognition scores improved following musical training, suggesting the positive impact of music training. The improved performance on speech recognition suggests that short-term musical training using Carnatic music can be used as a potential tool to improve speech recognition abilities in adverse listening conditions in older adults.
Keywords: musical training; carnatic music; speech recognition in noise; speech recognition in reverberation
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