Special Issue "Speech Communication in Complex Auditory Scenes and Effects on Voice Behaviour and Health, Listening Comfort, Well-being, and Learning"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Arianna Astolfi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Politecnico di Torino, Department of Energy, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Torino, Italy
Interests: classroom acoustics; speech intelligibility; voice monitoring; concert-hall acoustics; acoustic materials; soundscape and sound insulation
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Giuseppina Emma Puglisi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Politecnico di Torino, Department of Energy, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129, Torino, Italy
Interests: classroom acoustics; speech intelligibility; cognitive abilities; speech production; voice monitoring; soundscape
Prof. Dr. Janina Fels
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute and Chair for Hearing Technology and Acoustics, RWTH Aachen University, Kopernikusstraße 5, 52074 Aachen, Germany
Interests: auditory cognition in interactive virtual environments; classroom acoustics (interaction between room acoustics–hearing–speaking); binaural technology/spatial audio; technical systems for ENT and audiology; sound design and sound quality; noise control and noise assessment (binaural perception and auditory selective attention); psychoacoustics: binaural perception in complex environments
Ms. Karin Loh
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute and Chair for Hearing Technology and Acoustics, RWTH Aachen University, Kopernikusstraße 5, 52074 Aachen, Germany
Interests: classroom acoustics; children’s auditory cognition; noise effects; activity-based acoustic settings
Dr. Anna Warzybok
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Medical Physics and Cluster of Excellence Hearing4all, Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, D-26111 Oldenburg, Germany
Interests: speech perception in acoustically complex environments; audio-visual scenes; classroom acoustics; hearing impairment; fitting and assessment of hearing devices; speech recognition modelling

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are immersed in multicultural and densely occupied settings that make everyday life environments more and more challenging from the acoustic point of view. Effective speech communication is a fundamental need to face everyday relationships during an entire lifespan. Especially, it is crucial to enhance learning, the sense of belonging to a group, the personal safety and satisfaction, the ability of understanding speech for people with hearing loss (e.g., with hearing aids or cochlear implants)and for people who speak a different language. Speech communication accounts for both a talker’s and a listener’s premises. On the one side, the talker is asked to preserve her/his voice, and on the other side, the listener must be enabled to understand a message clearly.

Unfavorable room acoustics, such as high reverberation as well as environmental and anthropically-generated noise are factors that affect speech communication and in turn health, listening comfort, learning, well-being and working productivity. Complex auditory scenes for speech communication can be referred among others to teaching and learning environments, offices, restaurants, social or recreation spaces, outdoor spaces, enclosed public transport premises, shopping malls.

Professionals, such as teachers, singers, call-centre operators, use their voice as a primary working tool and may suffer from the onset of vocal pathologies at several levels. Voice disorders and vocal load can increase due to recurrent situations, such as the acoustic characteristics of the environments in which voice is used.

Vulnerable listeners are particularly interested in enhanced auditory conditions, such as young pupils that are at the first stages of education, knowledge workers in big open-plan offices, the elderly who may suffer from hearing and cognitive deficits, and hearing-impaired listeners equipped with implants or hearing aids.

The aim of the present Special Issue is to bring together up-to-date research on the speaking- and auditory-related aspects of speech communication in everyday life environments, such as:

  • Experimental campaigns to investigate complex auditory scenes for speech communication;
  • Application of virtual reality to investigate complex auditory scenes;
  • Optimization of auditory scenes;
  • Flexible solutions in everyday life environments to improve speech communication;
  • Control of speech and noise generated by occupants;
  • Assessment of the perceived acoustic comfort and well-being via occupant survey and relations with acoustic measurement data;
  • Occupants’ health in dependence on acoustic conditions;
  • Occupants’ cognitive abilities, performance and productivity related to their acoustic environment;
  • Impact of hearing impairment and benefit from hearing devices;
  • Influence of other environmental aspects on speech communication.

Prof. Dr. Arianna Astolfi
Dr. Giuseppina Emma Puglisi
Prof. Dr. Janina Fels
Ms. Karin Loh
Dr. Anna Warzybok
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Speech communication
  • Complex auditory scenes
  • Everyday life environments
  • Vocal behaviour and health
  • Vocal comfort
  • Noise control
  • Acoustic comfort
  • Learning
  • Well-being
  • Occupants’ behaviour and cognition

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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