Understanding Speech

Short Project Description

Understanding speech in an acoustically 'difficult’ environment that is characterised by fluctuating noise (the cocktail party effect) is one of the most important aspects of human communication. The underlying mechanisms of this complex hearing performance, how they develop and how they can be impaired are nevertheless not yet completely understood. The goal of this project is therefore to achieve a qualitatively and quantitatively better understanding of how speech understanding works under such conditions bringing together expertise from audiologists and psycholinguists. Following up on this, we wish to significantly improve the diagnostic methods of impairments in language comprehension.

On the one hand, we will develop measurement methods that enable an efficient and valid differentiation of the sensory and psycholinguistic component of understanding speech under different noise situations. On the other hand, we will develop a better understanding of the different levels of speech recognition in humans, among other things by numerical models that can describe the individual speech perception performance in different noise situations, with different sensory impairments and under different cognitive conditions.