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Date of Award

Spring 2015

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Psychology, Engineering Science

First Advisor

Elizabeth Casserly


Cochlear implants partially restore hearing, but vary greatly in the benefit they provide for their users, making auditory rehabilitation training necessary. This study examined the potential of multiple talkers and top-down processing to enhance the auditory perceptual learning typically seen with normal-hearing participants using cochlear implant simulations. Participants (N = 64) were exposed to one of four lab-based auditory training methods using meaningful sentence materials: control training without cochlear implant simulation, single-talker training, multi- talker training, or training with passages of semantically coherent sentences. In all cases, the experiment involved two pre-tests, one hour of training, and five post-tests to assess perceptual learning and cross-context generalization. Performance above the control was seen in all three experimental groups for sentence recognition in quiet. In addition, the multi-talker training method generalized to a context word recognition task, and the passage training method caused gains in a task involving sentence recognition in multi-talker babble. This indicates that exposure to multiple talkers and semantic cohesion can produce generalized perceptual learning previously unseen with typical single-talker lab training.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Engineering Science. Full-text access is limited to the Trinity community.