Towards a better understanding of cognitive processes
This study is part of a PhD project by Hanna Bönitz on “Cognitive ability & listening effort – a study on post-lingually deafened CI users” in cooperation with the Medical School in Hanover, Linköping University, Oticon Medical and Eriksholm Research Centre.
The goal of this project is toward a more comprehensive understanding of cognitive processes involved in listening and memorising speech in Cochlear Implant (CI) users. To investigate listening effort and memory processing during speech processing, two different methods have been combined in the current project. A physiological measure, i.e. the pupillary response, has been applied during a memory task called the Sentence Final Word Identification task (SWIR, Ng et al. 2013, 2015). The measurement of the pupil dilation has been demonstrated to be a valid method to quantify listening effort required in speech understanding. Furthermore, the pupil diameter has been associated with task load and cognitive processing, as it enlarges with increasing task difficulty.
In the SWIR test sentences were presented, and participants were asked to repeat the last word of the sentence. In the recall condition, participants additionally had to recall all final words after all sentences were presented. While performing the SWIR, participants’ pupil size was recorded with an eye-tracking camera. The pupil size was expected to increase with increasing task demands, i.e. in the recall compared to the no-recall condition, due to higher effort.