Comodulation Masking Release (CMR) in Children and the Influence of Reading Status Purpose Research suggests that children with reading disabilities (RD) have difficulty processing temporal and spectral components of sounds. Comodulation masking release (CMR) measures a listener’s ability to use temporal and spectral information in noise to identify a signal. The purpose of this study was to determine whether children with RD ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 2008
Comodulation Masking Release (CMR) in Children and the Influence of Reading Status
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Cynthia M. Zettler
    Georgia State University,Atlanta
  • Rose A. Sevcik
    Georgia State University,Atlanta
  • Robin D. Morris
    Georgia State University,Atlanta
  • Marsha G. Clarkson
    Georgia State University,Atlanta
  • Contact author: Cynthia M. Zettler, who is now at the Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 1500 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53705. E-mail: zettler@waisman.wisc.edu.
Article Information
Development / Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 2008
Comodulation Masking Release (CMR) in Children and the Influence of Reading Status
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2008, Vol. 51, 772-784. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/055)
History: Received September 16, 2006 , Revised April 4, 2007 , Accepted October 10, 2007
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2008, Vol. 51, 772-784. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/055)
History: Received September 16, 2006; Revised April 4, 2007; Accepted October 10, 2007
Web of Science® Times Cited: 2

Purpose Research suggests that children with reading disabilities (RD) have difficulty processing temporal and spectral components of sounds. Comodulation masking release (CMR) measures a listener’s ability to use temporal and spectral information in noise to identify a signal. The purpose of this study was to determine whether children with RD had difficulty identifying a signal in CMR stimuli. Child and adult performance was compared to assess the development of CMR.

Method Eighty-one 7- to 10-year-old children (30 with and 51 without RD) and 20 adults without RD listened to CMR stimuli through headphones. The difference between reference and modulated masker thresholds provided a measure of CMR.

Results Hierarchical regression analyses indicated that reading status did not predict thresholds or CMR. An analysis of variance revealed significantly less CMR for children than for adults.

Conclusions This research does not support the hypothesis that children with RD have difficulty processing temporal and spectral auditory information as measured by the CMR paradigm. In contrast with some previous research (K. Veloso, J. Hall, & J. Grose, 1990), this study suggests that CMR is continuing to develop beyond 10 years of age. Future research using a CMR paradigm with older children (10–16 years of age) would further illuminate the developmental picture of CMR.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported, in part, by Interagency Education Research Initiative Grant 37831 from the National Science Foundation to W. Labov. This research was presented in partial fulfillment of the first author’s master’s thesis at Georgia State University. We thank all of the participants, parents, and schools for their contribution and support to the study. Thanks also to Margie Ayati for assistance with data collection.
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