WORD-RECOGNITION THRESHOLD

Word recognition threshold (WRT) is an important measure of speech recognition accuracy and is widely used to measure the intelligibility of speech. It is a measure of the minimum signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) required for a listener to correctly identify a spoken word. WRT has been found to be a useful tool in evaluating the impact of hearing impairment on speech perception and understanding, and in assessing the efficacy of hearing aid interventions.

The concept of WRT was first introduced by Ebbinghaus in 1885. He reported that the accuracy of word recognition decreased when the signals were degraded by increasing the amount of noise. This seminal work was followed by numerous studies which further explored the effects of noise on speech recognition. In the 1960s, studies began to focus on the influence of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) on word recognition. There are two types of WRT measures: sentence-based and word-based. The sentence-based measure is based on the recognition of a complete sentence, while the word-based measure is based on the recognition of individual words.

WRT has been found to be a reliable measure of speech recognition accuracy and is widely used in clinical settings to assess the impact of hearing impairment and the efficacy of hearing aid interventions. In addition, WRT is often used to compare the performance of different hearing aids and to evaluate the performance of speech recognition algorithms.

Although WRT is a useful and important measure of speech recognition accuracy, there are certain limitations that should be considered. First, WRT is based on the recognition of individual words and does not account for the ability to understand the meaning of sentences. Second, WRT measures are typically obtained in controlled settings and may not reflect the real-world performance of hearing aid users. Finally, WRT does not account for the impact of cognitive factors, such as attention and working memory, on speech recognition.

In summary, WRT is a useful and important measure of speech recognition accuracy that is widely used in clinical settings. WRT is based on the recognition of individual words and is typically obtained in controlled settings. This measure has been found to be a reliable predictor of speech recognition accuracy and is often used to compare the performance of different hearing aids and speech recognition algorithms. However, WRT has certain limitations that should be taken into account when interpreting the results.

References

Ebbinghaus, H. (1885). Memory: A contribution to experimental psychology. London: Teachers’ College.

McCoy, S.L., & Hornsby, B.W. (Eds.). (2006). Hearing aids: Principles and practice (3rd ed.). St. Louis, MO: Mosby.

Kochkin, S., & Rogin, C. (2008). The use of word recognition scores to predict the benefit of hearing aids. Trends in Amplification, 12, 52-67.

Cox, R.M., & Alexander, G.C. (2003). The extended-wear hearing aid: A review and discussion. Ear and Hearing, 24, 4-18.

Chatterjee, M., & Ekelid, M. (2004). The impact of cognitive abilities on speech recognition in noise. Scand. Audiol., 33, 223-229.

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