Pupil dilation as a measure of listening effort in hearing science

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Baldock, Jennifer
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Flinders University
Copyright © 2018 the author. All rights reserved.
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Listening effort' can be defined as the mental exertion required to attend to, and understand, an auditory message. The framework for effortful listening (FUEL) (developed in 2016) describes multiple factors that may affect the amount of listening effort that an individual must expend including: hearing status, motivation, level of fatigue and memory capacity. Recently, there has been a surge in interest around the concept, definition and measurement of listening effort. Excessive listening effortful is frequently reported in audiology clinics. Individuals with hearing impairments typically must expend more effort when listening than normal hearing individuals. This effort is further exacerbated in conditions that are acoustically adverse (e.g. those with background noise) and can result in stress and fatigue. In research settings, measurement of task-evoked pupil dilation provides a powerful tool to measure the listening effort that specific auditory tasks require. Presently, there is no objective measure of listening effort available for clinical use. However, task-evoked pupil dilation has the potential to fill this gap. This presentation will introduce the concept of listening effort, review the history of the measurement of task-evoked pupil dilation and its application to hearing sciences and discuss potential clinical applications.
This abstract was prepared for the inaugural 'HDR Student Conference', Flinders University, November 2018. Copyright © the author
Effort, Cognition, Psychphysiology, Listening, Pupils
Baldock, Jennifer (2018, November) Pupil dilation as a measure of listening effort in hearing science Paper presented at 'HDR Student conference', Flinders University, Bedford Park.