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Recognizing emotional components in speech by normal hearing persons and CI patients
18 April 2018 (online)
Language consists of factual and emotional information. For the interpersonal relationship, the recognition of emotion in speech is of great importance. This allows us to classify what has been said and to evaluate the intention of the sender. If this emotional information is missing, this leads to uncertainty, skepticism, mistrust and misunderstandings.
This problem may be increased by hearing impairment. In the study normal hearing persons (n = 25) and CI patients (n = 20) were examined for the ability to recognize the typical basic emotions (i.e. anger, joy, grief and rage) in the spoken language. For this purpose, meaningless sentences (Oldenburg sentence test with 5 words each without meaning) were presented with different emotions. In a recording studio, these elements were assembled into short (10 seconds) and long (20 seconds) samples and evaluated using a standardized questionnaire.
The study clearly shows that CI patients are significantly less able to recognize the emotional component in spoken language, the variability among CI users is increased. Certain emotional elements (anger and rage) are recognized significantly worse than the others (joy and sadness).
Emotional hearing is much more limited in deafness than speech comprehension. The rehabilitation with CI rarely reaches a balance here. This coincides with the music listening quality that CI users report. Since this uncertainty often leads to mistrust, misunderstandings and uncertainty, as a consequence social isolation, fear and aggressiveness are often the result. This can also be observed in nursing homes. Therefore, the optimized rehabilitation of the emotional hearing comprehension is of great importance.