Measurement of listening effort using of a dual-task paradigm of Brazilian Portuguese: A pilot study
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Purpose: To measure listening effort using of a dual-task paradigm of working memory and analyze the clinical significance of the normal-hearing individuals' performance. Methods: Participants were 10 young adults with similar socio-cultural level, aged 18-30 years, of both genders, classified as normal-hearing individuals based on the quadritonal average (500, 1000, 2000 and 4000 Hz). The participants were submitted to audiological anamnesis, meatoscopy, and pure tone audiometry. Listening effort was measured using a dual-task paradigm comprising the tasks of speech perception and working memory with logatomes, real words, and meaningless sentences. Prior to measurement, the dual-task paradigm was carried out in audiometric booth in order to train the participants to perform the tasks properly. After the training stage, this paradigm was conducted under two different hearing situations with white noise: signal-to-noise ratios of +5 and -5dB. Results: Performance comparison per ear, right or left, for the two signal-to-noise ratios significantly influenced the speech perception tasks with logatomes and meaningless sentences in both ears; however, significant difference was observed only for the right ear in the tasks of listening effort and working memory. Conclusion: Listening effort can be measured using the paradigm proposed, and this instrument was proven sensitive for the quantification of this auditory parameter.