Purpose: This study examines the influence of voice quality and multi-talker babble noise on processing and storage performance in a working memory task performed by children using cochlear implants (CI) and/or hearing aids (HA). Methods: Twenty-three children with a hearing impairment using CI and/or HA participated. Age range was between 6 and 13 years. The Competing Language Processing Task (CLPT) was assessed in three listening conditions; a typical voice presented in quiet, a dysphonic voice in quiet, and a typical voice in multi-talker babble noise (signal-to-noise ratio +10 dB). Being a dual task, the CLPT consists of a sentence processing component and a recall component. The recall component constitutes the measure of working memory capacity (WMC). Higher-level executive function was assessed using Elithorn's mazes. Results: The results showed that the dysphonic voice did not affect performance in the processing component or performance in the recall component. Multi-talker babble noise decreased performance in the recall component but not in the processing component. Higher-level executive function was not significantly related to performance in any component. Conclusions: The findings indicate that multi-talker babble noise, but not a dysphonic voice quality, seems to put strain on WMC in children using CI and/or HA.
- dysphonic voice multi-talker babble noise
- working memory
- hearing impairment
- voice quality