The Listening in Spatialized Noise – Sentences Test (LiSN-S)

The LiSN-S is a test of speech (sentence) understanding in noise (competing speech). The speech stimuli are synthesised with head-related transfer functions to create a three-dimensional auditory environment over headphones. The LiSN-S has four subtests, each of which measures the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) needed for the client to understand 50% of the words in each sentence. The test fulfils two important functions. The first subtest (High-Cue condition) measures understanding when the talker is directly in front of the listener, but there are competing talkers to the left and right. This subtest therefore measures, relative to others of the same age, overall speech understanding in noise.

The other three subtests examine some possible reasons why a client might show a deficit on the first subtest. They differ from the High-Cue condition in regard to where the competing talkers come from, and whether the competing talkers are the same person, or different people than the target talker. By using the difference between the scores from subtests that differ only in the location of the competing talkers, it is possible to detect the presence of spatial processing disorder (SPD), while controlling for the effects of language ability and cognition. SPD is a deficit in the ability to use the spatial separation of different sound sources to understand a target frontal talker.

The condition is a relatively common cause of speech in noise deficits that do not have their origins in cognitive or language problems, and is a frequent long-term consequence of protracted or repeated otitis media in the first five years of life. SPD can be effectively remediated by training speech perception in spatially separated noise. LISN-S is available in Australian and North American accents. The test expresses all scores relative to extensive normative data, from Australian and North American children and adults from 6 to 60 years of age, built into the software.

LiSN-S Screenshot

Published Science

Dillon, H., & Cameron, S. (2021). Separating the Causes of Listening Difficulties in Children. Ear & Hearing, 42 (5):1097–1108. https://doi.org/10.1097/AUD.0000000000001069.

Mealings, K., & Dillon, H. (2021). English language and language-free detection of spatial processing disorders in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. International journal of audiology, 60(9), 704–710. https://doi.org/10.1080/14992027.2020.1731614

Schow, R. L., Dillon, H., Hillam, J., Whitaker, M. M., & Seikel, J. A. (2021). Factor Analysis on Multiple Auditory Processing Assessment-2 and Listening in Spatialized Noise-Sentences Test in Children. American journal of audiology, 30(2), 433–442. https://doi.org/10.1044/2021_AJA-20-00158

Mealings, K., Cameron, S., & Dillon H. (2020). Correlating performance on the Listening in Spatialized Noise - Sentences Test (LiSN-S) with the Listening in Spatialized Noise - Universal Test (LiSN-U). International Journal of Audiology, 59 (7):519–523. https://doi.org/10.1080/14992027.2020.1753119

Mealings, K., & Harkus, S. (2020). Remediating spatial processing disorder in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. International journal of pediatric otorhinolaryngology, 137, 110205. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijporl.2020.110205

Mealings, K., Harkus, S., Flesher, B., Meyer, A., Chung, K., & Dillon, H. (2020). Detection of hearing problems in Aboriginal and Torres strait islander children: a comparison between clinician-administered and self-administrated hearing tests. International journal of audiology, 59(6), 455–463. https://doi.org/10.1080/14992027.2020.1718781

Moore, D. R., Hugdahl, K., Stewart, H. J., Vannest, J., Perdew, A. J., Sloat, N. T., Cash, E. K., & Hunter, L. L. (2020). Listening Difficulties in Children: Behavior and Brain Activation Produced by Dichotic Listening of CV Syllables. Frontiers in psychology, 11, 675. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00675

Murphy, C., Hashim, E., Dillon, H., & Bamiou, D. E. (2019). British children’s performance on the listening in spatialised noise-sentences test (LISN-S). International journal of audiology, 58(11), 754–760. https://doi.org/10.1080/14992027.2019.1627592

Nixon, G., Sarant, J. Z., Tomlin, D., & Dowell, R. (2019). The relationship between peripheral hearing loss and higher order listening function on cognition in older Australians. International journal of audiology, 58(12), 933–944. https://doi.org/10.1080/14992027.2019.1641752

Schafer, E. C., Gopal, K. V., Mathews, L., Thompson, S., Kaiser, K., McCullough, S., Jones, J., Castillo, P., Canale, E., & Hutcheson, A. (2019). Effects of Auditory Training and Remote Microphone Technology on the Behavioral Performance of Children and Young Adults Who Have Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 30(5), 431–443. https://doi.org/10.3766/jaaa.18062

Smith, J., Wang, J., Grobler, A. C., Lange, K., Clifford, S. A., & Wake, M. (2019). Hearing, speech reception, vocabulary and language: population epidemiology and concordance in Australian children aged 11 to 12 years and their parents. BMJ open, 9(Suppl 3), 85–94. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2018-023196

Graydon, K., Van Dun, B., Tomlin, D., Dowell, R., & Rance, G. (2018). Remediation of spatial processing disorder (SPD). International journal of audiology, 57(5), 376–384. https://doi.org/10.1080/14992027.2018.1431403

Hamlyn, K., Welldon, K., Clark, B., van Steenbrugge, W., & Kapadia, S. (2018). The Effect of Increased Cognitive Demand on Auditory Processing Assessment. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 29(9), 788–801. https://doi.org/10.3766/jaaa.16152

Stavrinos, G., Iliadou, V. M., Edwards, L., Sirimanna, T., & Bamiou, D. E. (2018). The Relationship between Types of Attention and Auditory Processing Skills: Reconsidering Auditory Processing Disorder Diagnosis. Frontiers in psychology, 9, 34. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00034

Wilson W. J. (2018). Evolving the concept of APD. International journal of audiology, 57(4), 240–248. https://doi.org/10.1080/14992027.2017.1409438

Graydon, K., Rance, G., Dowell, R., & Van Dun, B. (2017). Consequences of Early Conductive Hearing Loss on Long-Term Binaural Processing. Ear and hearing, 38(5): 621–627. https://doi.org/10.1097/AUD.0000000000000431

Murphy, C., Stavrinos, G., Chong, K., Sirimanna, T., & Bamiou, D. E. (2017). Auditory Processing after Early Left Hemisphere Injury: A Case Report. Frontiers in neurology, 8, 226. https://doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2017.00226

Cameron, S., Glyde, H, Dillon, H., King, A., & Gillies, K. (2015). Results from a national central auditory processing disorder service: A “real world” assessment of diagnostic practices and remediation for CAPD. Seminars in Hearing, 36 (4), 216-236. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0035-1564457

Glyde, H., Buchholz, J. M., Nielsen, L., Best, V., Dillon, H., Cameron, S., Hickson, L. (2015). Effect of audibility on spatial release from speech-on-speech masking. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 138 (5), 3311-3319. https://doi.org/10.1121/1.4934732

Glyde, H., Cameron, S., Dillon, H., & Hickson, L. (2014). Remediation of spatial processing deficits in hearing-impaired adults and children. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 25 (6), 549-561. https://doi.org/10.3766/jaaa.25.6.5

Cameron, S., Glyde, H., Dillon, H., Kanthan, S., & Kania, A. (2014). Prevalence and remediation of spatial processing disorder (SPD) in Indigenous children in regional Australia. International Journal of Audiology, 53, 326-335. https://doi.org/10.3109/14992027.2013.871388

Sharma, M., Dhamani, I., Leung, J., & Carlile, S. (2014). Attention, memory, and auditory processing in 10- to 15-year-old children with listening difficulties. Journal of speech, language, and hearing research: JSLHR, 57(6), 2308–2321. https://doi.org/10.1044/2014_JSLHR-H-13-0226

Glyde, H., Buchholz, J., Dillon, H., Best, V., Hickson, L., & Cameron, S. (2013). The effect of better-ear glimpsing on spatial release from masking. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 134, (4), 2937-2945. https://doi.org/10.1121/1.4817930

Glyde, H., Buchholz, J., Dillon, H., Cameron, S., & Hickson, L. (2013). The importance of interaural time differences and level differences in spatial release from masking. JASA Express Letters, 134(2), EL147-EL152. https://doi.org/10.1121/1.4812441

Glyde, H., Cameron, S., Dillon, H., Hickson, L., & Seeto, M. (2013). The effects of hearing impairment and aging on spatial processing. Ear and Hearing, 34, 15-28. https://doi.org/10.1097/AUD.0b013e3182617f94

Cameron, S., Glyde, H. & Dillon, H. (2012). Efficacy of the LiSN & Learn auditory training software: Randomized blinded controlled study. Audiology Research, 2(1), e15. https://doi.org/10.4081/audiores.2012.e15

Dillon, H., Cameron, S., Glyde, H., Wilson, W., & Tomlin, D. (2012). An Opinion on the Assessment of People Who May Have an Auditory Processing Disorder. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 23(2), 97-105. https://doi.org/10.3766/jaaa.23.2.4

Glyde, H., Hickson, L., Cameron, S., & Dillon, H. (2011). Problems hearing in noise in older adults. A review of spatial processing disorder. Trends in Amplification, 15(3), 116-126. https://doi.org/10.1177/1084713811424885

Cameron, S., Glyde, H., & Dillon, H. (2011). Listening in Spatialized Noise- Sentences Test (LiSN-S): Normative and retest reliability data for adolescents and adults up to 60 years of age. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 22(10), 697-709. https://doi.org/10.3766/jaaa.22.10.7

Cameron, S., & Dillon, H. (2011). Development and Evaluation of the LiSN & Learn Auditory Training Software for Deficit-Specific Remediation of Binaural Processing Deficits in Children: Preliminary Findings. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 22(10), 678-696. https://doi.org/10.3766/jaaa.22.10.6

Brown, D., Cameron, S. Martin, J., Watson, C., & Dillon, H. (2010). The North American Listening in Spatialized Noise – Sentences Test (NA LiSN-S): Normative data and test-retest reliability studies for adolescents and young adults. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 21(10), 629-641. https://doi.org/10.3766/jaaa.21.10.3

Cameron, S., Brown, D., Keith, R., Martin, J., Watson, C., & Dillon, H. (2009). Development of the North American Listening in Spatialized Noise - Sentences Test (NA LISN-S): Sentence equivalence, normative data and test-retest reliability studies. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 20(2), 128-146. https://doi.org/10.3766/jaaa.20.2.6

Cameron, S. & Dillon, H. (2008). The Listening in Spatialized Noise – Sentences Test: Comparison to prototype LISN test and results from children with either a suspected (central) auditory processing disorder of a confirmed language disorder. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 19(5), 377-391. https://doi.org/10.3766/jaaa.19.5.2

Cameron, S. & Dillon, H. (2007). The Listening in Spatialized Noise - Sentences Test (LISN-S): Test-retest reliability study. International Journal of Audiology, 46, 145-153. https://doi.org/10.1080/14992020601164170

Cameron, S. & Dillon, H. (2007). Development of the Listening in Spatialized Noise - Sentences Test (LISN-S). Ear and Hearing, 28(2), 196-211. https://doi.org/10.1097/AUD.0b013e318031267f

Cameron, S., Dillon, H. & Newall, P. (2006). The Listening in Spatialized Noise Test: An auditory processing disorder study. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 17(5), 306-320. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16796298/

Cameron, S., Dillon, H., & Newall, P. (2006). Listening in Spatialized Noise Test: Normative data for children. International Journal of Audiology, 45, 99-108. 306–320. https://doi.org/10.3766/jaaa.17.5.2

Cameron, S., Dillon, H. & Newall, P. (2006). Development and evaluation of the Listening in Spatialized Noise Test. Ear and Hearing, 27(1), 30-42. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.aud.0000194510.57677.03

Books and book chapters:

Cameron, S., & Dillon, H. (2019). Deficit-specific diagnosis and remediation of auditory processing disorders. In D. Geffner & D. Ross-Swain (Eds.). Auditory Processing Disorders: Assessment, Management and Treatment. Third Edition. (pp. 95-122). San Diego, CA: Plural Publications. https://www.pluralpublishing.com/publications/auditory-processing-disorders-assessment-management-and-treatment

Cameron, S., & Dillon, H. (2014). Remediation of spatial processing issues in central auditory processing disorder. In G. D. Chermak & Frank E. Musiek (Eds.) Handbook of Central Auditory Processing Disorder. Comprehensive Intervention (Vol. II, pp. 201-224). San Diego, CA: Plural Publishing. https://www.pluralpublishing.com/publications/handbook-of-central-auditory-processing-disorder-volume-ii-comprehensive-intervention