The Journal of International
Advanced Otology
Original Article

Virtual Auditory Space Training-Induced Changes of Auditory Spatial Processing in Listeners with Normal Hearing

1.

All India Institute of Speech and Hearing, Audiology, Mysore, Karnataka, India

J Int Adv Otol 2017; 13: 118-127
DOI: 10.5152/iao.2017.3477
Read: 706 Downloads: 280 Published: 03 September 2019

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Localization involves processing of subtle yet highly enriched monaural and binaural spatial cues. Remediation programs aimed at resolving spatial deficits are surprisingly scanty in literature. The present study is designed to explore the changes that occur in the spatial performance of normal-hearing listeners before and after subjecting them to virtual acoustic space (VAS) training paradigm using behavioral and electrophysiological measures.

 

MATERIALS and METHODS: Ten normal-hearing listeners participated in the study, which was conducted in three phases, including a pre-training, training, and post-training phase. At the pre- and post-training phases both behavioral measures of spatial acuity and electrophysiological P300 were administered. The spatial acuity of the participants in the free field and closed field were measured apart from quantifying their binaural processing abilities. The training phase consisted of 5–8 sessions (20 min each) carried out using a hierarchy of graded VAS stimuli.

 

RESULTS: The results obtained from descriptive statistics were indicative of an improvement in all the spatial acuity measures in the post-training phase. Statistically, significant changes were noted in interaural time difference (ITD) and virtual acoustic space identification scores measured in the post-training phase. Effect sizes (r) for all of these measures were substantially large, indicating the clinical relevance of these measures in documenting the impact of training. However, the same was not reflected in P300.

 

CONCLUSION: The training protocol used in the present study on a preliminary basis proves to be effective in normal-hearing listeners, and its implications can be extended to other clinical population as well.

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EISSN 2148-3817