Research Project

Auditory and Speech Perception Under Cognitive Load

Principal Investigators
Dr Faith Chiu
Professor Sven Mattys
Dr Daniel Bor

About the project

Concurrent cognitive tasks form an integral part of everyday listening experience (e.g. monitoring road traffic while conversing with a passenger). Little is known about difficult listening conditions that do not alter the integrity of the signal, i.e. when there is no noisy background, but the listener struggles because s/he is concurrently engaged in another task (e.g. driving).

This type of adverse listening condition places demands on central cognitive resources and depletes resources available for listening. For older adults, listening is often already challenging due to age-related hearing loss. Further complicating the situation are those also suffering from age-related degenerative brain diseases (e.g. Alzheimer's); competing task demands alone could present tremendous difficulty due to limited cognitive resources.

This ongoing research project explores listening and speech comprehension under divided attention, concentrating on three population groups: normal-hearing older adults, hearing-impaired older adults, and normal-hearing young adults.

Key publications

Cognitive load elevates discrimination thresholds of duration, intensity, and f0 for a synthesized vowel.

Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 146 (2), 1077-1084 Chiu, F., Rakusen, LL. and Mattys, SL., (2019).

Phonetic categorisation and discrimination of voice onset time under divided attention.

Chiu, F., Rakusen, LL. and Mattys, SL., (submitted). 

Associated funding

  • University of York Research Theme Champions Pump Priming Fund: "Cognitively induced adverse listening conditions in older adults" (concluded 2019)
  • ESRC Research Grant: Speech Perception under Cognitive Load (awarded to PI Sven Mattys, York - I was the project postdoc)

Principal Investigators

Dr Daniel Bor

Dr Daniel Bor

Co-Investigator

Consciousness and Cognition Lab, Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge

Dr Bor is a Wellcome Trust Fellow at the Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge

Get in touch
Get in touch
Centre for Research in Language Development throughout the Lifespan (LaDeLi) University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, CO4 3SQ
Telephone: 01206 872083
Department of Language and Linguistics University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, CO4 3SQ
Telephone: 01206 872083