Development of Auditory Saltation and Its Relationship to Reading and Phonological Processing Purpose The temporal offset of auditory saltation is thought to be reflective of the limits of temporal resolution, and has recently been used to compare dyslexic and control adults and children, with mixed results (R. Hari & P. Kiesilä, 1996; M. Kronbichler, F. Hutzler, & H. Wimmer, 2002). This study ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2006
Development of Auditory Saltation and Its Relationship to Reading and Phonological Processing
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Joanna C. Kidd
    University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia
  • John H. Hogben
    University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia
  • Contact author: Joanna C. Kidd, who is now at Department of Psychology, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road Hong Kong, SAR, China. Email: jkidd@hkucc.hku.hk
Article Information
Normal Language Processing / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 2006
Development of Auditory Saltation and Its Relationship to Reading and Phonological Processing
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2006, Vol. 49, 352-366. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/028)
History: Received June 28, 2004 , Revised April 14, 2005 , Accepted July 3, 2005
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2006, Vol. 49, 352-366. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/028)
History: Received June 28, 2004; Revised April 14, 2005; Accepted July 3, 2005
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Purpose The temporal offset of auditory saltation is thought to be reflective of the limits of temporal resolution, and has recently been used to compare dyslexic and control adults and children, with mixed results (R. Hari & P. Kiesilä, 1996; M. Kronbichler, F. Hutzler, & H. Wimmer, 2002). This study sought to document and understand normative changes in saltation thresholds as a function of age, and examine the relationship of saltation thresholds to reading and phonological processing across development.

Method This study used a cross-sectional developmental design. Groups of 7–8-, 9–10-, and 11–13-year-old children, and adults, undertook a 2-alternative forced-choice saltation task, along with standard tests of reading and phonological processing.

Results Significantly higher and more variable saltation thresholds were evident in the 7–8-year-old group. Group distributions were skewed: Only a few young children obtained poor thresholds while most showed adult-like performance. Saltation thresholds were not related to reading or phonological processing skills at any stage of development.

Conclusions The temporal offset of saltation is unlikely to reflect the true limits of temporal resolution in young children, but rather the conflation of perceptual and nonperceptual factors (such as poor short-term memory, inattention, and confusion) to task performance. Effort should be made to minimize such nonperceptual factors, particularly when using saltation as a measure of temporal resolution in participants with dyslexia.

Acknowledgments
We thank Veronica Edwards for advice with analysis and Sieu Khuu for assistance with Psignifit Bootstrapping software. This research was supported by a grant from the Australian Research Council.
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