Reading span test and text recognition: Comparison of quiet and two-talker noise



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The current study focused on how cognitive performance in adults was affected by auditory distraction in the form of unattended speech. Specifically, the study compared the working memory performance of adults in a quiet testing environment to the same adults’ performance in the presence of two-talker babble (i.e., two individuals speaking simultaneously). A computerized reading span test (RST) that was created by combining sentences from a RST used by Friedman and Miyake (2004) with a version of the standard computerized Reading Span Test first used in the research of van den Noort, Bosch, Haverkort, and Hugdahl (2008) was utilized to compare working memory performance across the experimental conditions (i.e., quiet and two-talker babble). Additionally, perceptual rating scales of perceived effort and perceived performance levels were utilized to quantify subjective measures of participant performance.



Two-talker noise, Reading span test, Text recognition