Semi-structured listening experience (listening training) in hearing aid fitting: Influence on dichotic listening

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Purpose: In this study, the authors tested whether training with amplified, clear speech in regular room acoustics would result in larger perceptual gains of auditory processing in elderly hearing aid users. Method: Elderly participants with hearing impairment (N = 36, ages 64-88) were fitted with bilateral hearing aids and were randomly assigned to 2 unequal groups. Study group participants were provided with 7 sessions (1 month) of individual listening training during which a free conversation was conducted, with the aim of stimulating the amplified ears with verbal auditory input. The control group participants were fitted with hearing aids without training. Auditory processing changes were assessed through the use of dichotic listening tasks. Results: During hearing aid use, dichotic listening scores-tested without the hearing aids-improved in both groups, mainly in the non-dominant ears. The overall dichotic performance was significantly higher in the study group, and the main effect of auditory training was manifested in the scores of the dominant ear. Conclusions: Hearing aid use may improve auditory processing performance as tested in unaided conditions. Listening training has an additional beneficial effect on the dominant ear-that is, the ear with the lesser potential for improvement. Listening training in elderly adults presumably enhanced the acclimatization process by better recruiting the potential for auditory plasticity and improving attention recruitment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-350
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Audiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Auditory training
  • Dichotic listening
  • Elderly
  • Hearing aids
  • Plasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing


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