Stimulus, Task, and Learning Effects on Measures of Temporal Resolution: Implications for Predictors of Language Outcome Purpose Some studies find that temporal processing ability predicts language outcome whereas other studies do not. Resolution of this debate is hindered by the variety of temporal measures used, nonsensory loading of the tasks, and differential amounts of practice across studies. The goal of this study was to examine the ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 2008
Stimulus, Task, and Learning Effects on Measures of Temporal Resolution: Implications for Predictors of Language Outcome
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Nicholas A. Smith
    McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario
  • Laurel J. Trainor
    McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario
  • Kellie Gray
    McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario
  • Judy A. Plantinga
    McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario
  • David I. Shore
    McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario
  • Contact author: David I. Shore, Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4K1, Canada. E-mail: dshore@mcmaster.ca.
  • Nicholas A. Smith is now at Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, Nebraska
    Nicholas A. Smith is now at Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, Nebraska×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 2008
Stimulus, Task, and Learning Effects on Measures of Temporal Resolution: Implications for Predictors of Language Outcome
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2008, Vol. 51, 1630-1642. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/07-0058)
History: Received March 7, 2007 , Revised October 24, 2007 , Accepted April 1, 2008
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2008, Vol. 51, 1630-1642. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/07-0058)
History: Received March 7, 2007; Revised October 24, 2007; Accepted April 1, 2008
Web of Science® Times Cited: 5

Purpose Some studies find that temporal processing ability predicts language outcome whereas other studies do not. Resolution of this debate is hindered by the variety of temporal measures used, nonsensory loading of the tasks, and differential amounts of practice across studies. The goal of this study was to examine the effects of stimulus properties, experimental task, and perceptual learning on listeners' gap detection performance.

Method Gap detection thresholds were obtained from adults with normal hearing and language ability. The effects of marker frequency similarity and marker duration on thresholds were examined in yes-no, two-interval forced-choice (2IFC), and dual-pair comparison tasks (which vary in nonsensory loading) over 4 days of testing.

Results Thresholds were highest for gaps defined by markers with disparate frequencies (1000 and 4000 Hz; i.e., between-channel gap detection), and with longer (300 ms) trailing markers, obtained using yes-no and 2IFC tasks. However, these effects were attenuated with training or the initial use of the dual-pair comparison task.

Conclusions These results suggest that gap detection thresholds reflect a variety of sensory and nonsensory factors. Understanding these underlying factors is critical to any evaluation of the relation between temporal processing and language outcome.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (awarded to the second author), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (awarded to the second and fifth authors), the Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network (awarded to the second and fifth authors), and the Ontario Ministry of Development and Trade (a Premier’s Research Excellence Award to the fifth author) on infrastructure provided through a new opportunities grant to the fifth author from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation and the Ontario Innovation Trust. We thank Walt Jesteadt for comments on this article.
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