Auditory Tests for Characterizing Hearing Deficits in Listeners With Various Hearing Abilities: The BEAR Test Battery

Raul Sanchez-Lopez, Silje Grini Nielsen, Mouhamad El-Haj-Ali, Federica Bianchi, Michal Fereczkowski, Oscar M Cañete, Mengfan Wu, Tobias Neher, Torsten Dau*, Sébastien Santurette*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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The Better hEAring Rehabilitation (BEAR) project aims to provide a new clinical profiling
tool—a test battery—for hearing loss characterization. Although the loss of sensitivity can
be efficiently measured using pure-tone audiometry, the assessment of supra-threshold
hearing deficits remains a challenge. In contrast to the classical “attenuation-distortion”
model, the proposed BEAR approach is based on the hypothesis that the hearing abilities
of a given listener can be characterized along two dimensions, reflecting independent
types of perceptual deficits (distortions). A data-driven approach provided evidence for
the existence of different auditory profiles with different degrees of distortions. Ten tests
were included in a test battery, based on their clinical feasibility, time efficiency, and
related evidence from the literature. The tests were divided into six categories: audibility,
speech perception, binaural processing abilities, loudness perception, spectro-temporal
modulation sensitivity, and spectro-temporal resolution. Seventy-five listeners with
symmetric, mild-to-severe sensorineural hearing loss were selected from a clinical
population. The analysis of the results showed interrelations among outcomes related to
high-frequency processing and outcome measures related to low-frequency processing
abilities. The results showed the ability of the tests to reveal differences among individuals
and their potential use in clinical settings.
Original languageEnglish
Article number724007
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 29. Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Preprint posted posted June 12, 2021.


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