Reverberation, masking, filtering, and level effects on speech recognition performance

Faith C Loven, M. J. Collins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The purpose of this investigation was to describe the interactive effects of four signal modifications typically encountered in everyday communication settings. These modifications included reverberation, masking, filtering, and fluctuation in speech intensity. The relationship between recognition performance and spectral changes to the speech signal due to the presence of these signal alterations was also studied. The interactive effects of these modifications were evaluated by obtaining indices of nonsense syllable recognition ability from normally hearing listeners for systematically varied combinations of the four signal parameters. The results of this study were in agreement with previous studies concerned with the effect of these variables in isolation on speech recognition ability. When present in combination, the direction of each variable's effect on recognition performance is maintained; however, the magnitude of the effect increases. The results of this investigation are reasonably accounted for by a spectral theory of speech recognition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)681-695
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Speech and Hearing Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1988


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