Intégration auditive des modulations temporelles : effets du vieillissement et de la perte auditive

Abstract : Communication sounds, including speech, contain relatively slow (<5-10 Hz) patterns of amplitude modulation (AM) and frequency modulation (FM) that play an important role in the discrimination and identification of sounds. The goal of this doctoral research program was to better understand the mechanisms involved in AM and FM perception and to clarify the effects of age and hearing loss on AM and FM perception. AM and FM detection thresholds were measured for young and older normal-hearing (NH) listeners and for older hearing-impaired (HI) listeners, using a low carrier frequency (500 Hz) and low modulation rates (2 and 20 Hz). The number of modulation cycles, N, varied between 2 to 9. FM detection thresholds were measured with and without an interfering AM to disrupt temporal-envelope cues. For all groups of listeners, AM and FM detection thresholds were lower for the 2-Hz than for the 20-Hz rate. AM and FM sensitivity improved with increasing N, demonstrating temporal integration for AM and FM detection. As for AM thresholds, opposite effects of age and hearing loss were observed: AM sensitivity declines with age, but improves with hearing loss at both modulation rates. Temporal integration of AM cues was similar across NH listeners, but better for HI listeners. As for FM sensitivity, ageing degrades FM thresholds at the low modulation rate only, whereas hearing loss has a deleterious effect at both modulation rates. Temporal integration of FM cues was similar across all groups. Two computational models (a single-band and a multi-band version) using the modulation filterbank concept and a template-matching decision strategy were developed in order to account for the data. Overall, the psychophysical and modeling data suggest that: 1) at high modulation rates, AM and FM detection are coded by a common underlying mechanism, possibly based on temporal-envelope cues. In contrast, at low modulation rates, AM and FM are coded by different mechanisms, possibly based on temporal-envelope cues and temporal-fine-structure cues, respectively. 2) Ageing reduces sensitivity to both AM and FM (i.e., both temporal-envelope and temporal-fine-structure cues), but more so for the latter. 3) Hearing loss does not affect sensitivity to AM (temporal-envelope cues) but impairs FM sensitivity at both rates. 4) The memory and decision processes involved in the temporal integration of AM and FM cues are preserved with age. With hearing loss, the temporal integration of AM cues is enhanced, probably due to the loss of amplitude compression, while the temporal integration of FM cues remains unchanged. Still, some aspects of processing efficiency (as modeled by internal noise) decline with age and even more following cochlear damage. The implications for the definition, diagnosis and rehabilitation of presbyacysis are discussed.
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Nicolas Wallaert. Intégration auditive des modulations temporelles : effets du vieillissement et de la perte auditive. Sciences cognitives. PSL Research University, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017PSLEE087⟩. ⟨tel-02071797⟩

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