Document Type

Capstone Project

Publication Date


First Advisor

Nicholas Stanley, Au.D., Ph.D.


Semantic Processing, Complex Listening Environments, Listening in Noise, Semantic Judgment Task, Masking Competitions


Communication Sciences and Disorders | Speech and Hearing Science | Speech Pathology and Audiology


The purpose of this research study is to determine how young adults and middle-aged adults process speech in different complex listening environments. Young adult and middle-aged adult volunteers will complete a cognitive screening and audiological evaluation to establish inclusionary status for experimental speech understanding in noise testing. If they meet the requirements of the study and wish to participate further, they will continue with a semantic judgement task, in which they will be asked to listen and respond to words presented in different background noises. Within the task, participants will be asked to identify word pairs into either a "match" or "no-match" category, matches being words that fall into the same broad category (foods, animals, clothing, etc.), and no-matches being words that do not fall into the same category. This task will be completed in several different listening conditions: quiet, single-talker competition, two-talker competition, speech-shaped noise competition, and reversed speech competition. Accuracy and reaction time data will be collected during the experimental task.