Title: Cultural differences in auditory ecology
Legend: Hispanics are exposed to significantly greater noise levels (Panel A) and poorer speech-to-noise ratios (SNRs; Panel B) than European-Americans. The central horizontal line in each boxplot indicates the median level (in dBC or dB) across recordings. The boxes show the interquartile range from the 25th (lower boundary) to the 75th percentile (upper boundary). The error bars extending from the boxes capture values falling within 1.5 times the interquartile range. Filled circles beyond the error bars show data points >1.5 times the interquartile range. Note. SNR = Speech-to-noise ratio. * p < .05.
Citation: Benitez-Barrera, C.R., Ramirez-Esparza, N., García-Sierra, A., & Skoe, E. (in revision). Cultural differences in auditory ecology. JASA Express Letters.
Abstract: Cultural differences in environmental auditory ecology are usually studied using geographic area monitoring. This approach might miss valuable information differentiating cultures. This motivated the current study, which used wearable sound recorders to measure noise levels and speech-to-noise ratios in the immediate auditory environment of Hispanic and European-American college students. On average, noise levels were 63.8 dBC, and the speech-to-noise was +4.7 dB. Groups differed on both measures with higher noise levels and lower speech-to-noise ratios in the Hispanic group. This work provides a framework for a larger study on the impact of culture on auditory ecology.
About the Lab: Dr. Benitez-Barrera’s research focuses on the impact of early auditory experiences on behavioral and neural outcomes of children, particularly those at risk of communication delays. Dr. Benitez-Barrera is also interested in investigating neural correlates of speech-in-noise processing in the pediatric population. His research takes place at the Waisman Center, where he directs the Pediatric Auditory Experience and Brain lab.
Investigator: Carlos Benítez-Barrera, PhD