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Speech-in-Noise Research: From Civilian to Military Operational Environments

Ann Nakashima


The importance of speech intelligibility in learning and occupational environments is evidenced by the abundance of research in room acoustics and auditory communication.  In addition to environmental factors such as background noise and reverberation, individual factors including the presence of hearing loss, wearing of hearing aids and hearing protection devices (HPDs) and language proficiency must be considered.  Previous work in these areas has provided a foundation for the study of communication in complex, high noise environments.  For Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members, the high noise levels inside aircraft, armoured vehicles and sea vessels demand the use of HPDs and integrated radio communication systems.  In this paper, we review some of the challenges associated with speech communication in military operational environments and how speech-in-noise testing is adapted for military relevance.  Similarities and differences amongst auditory communication research in classrooms, occupational and military environments will be discussed.

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