Auditory Temporal Acuity in Normally Achieving and Learning-Disabled College Students Recent research has suggested that deficits in several metalinguistic/phonological abilities, such as short-term verbal memory and phoneme segmentation, may be etiologic factors in specific reading disability, and it has been speculated that these weaknesses may result from a more fundamental deficit in the processing of temporal, auditory stimuli. This study ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 1992
Auditory Temporal Acuity in Normally Achieving and Learning-Disabled College Students
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Betty U. Watson
    Indiana University, Bloomington
Article Information
Language Disorders / Reading & Writing Disorders / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 1992
Auditory Temporal Acuity in Normally Achieving and Learning-Disabled College Students
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1992, Vol. 35, 148-156. doi:10.1044/jshr.3501.148
History: Received October 12, 1990 , Accepted March 7, 1991
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1992, Vol. 35, 148-156. doi:10.1044/jshr.3501.148
History: Received October 12, 1990; Accepted March 7, 1991

Recent research has suggested that deficits in several metalinguistic/phonological abilities, such as short-term verbal memory and phoneme segmentation, may be etiologic factors in specific reading disability, and it has been speculated that these weaknesses may result from a more fundamental deficit in the processing of temporal, auditory stimuli. This study examined the auditory temporal processing skills of reading-disabled, math-disabled, and normally achieving college students. The math-disabled group was included to control for the possibility that poor temporal processing is a "marker" variable for learning disability rather than being related specifically to reading disability. Subjects were assessed on a battery of psychophysical tasks that included five tests of temporal processing. The reading-disabled group performed significantly more poorly on the temporal tasks but performed as well as the other groups on the simple pitch and loudness discrimination tasks. In spite of the significant difference on the temporal tasks, the majority of reading-disabled subjects performed within the same range as the subjects in the other two groups, and there were also some normally reading subjects who performed poorly on the temporal processing tasks. These findings suggest that poor temporal processing is neither a necessary nor a sufficient cause of reading disability, but that there is a modest association between the two domains.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by National Institute of Health Grant R01 NS 20606.
The generous help of Suzanne Patterson, Bias Espinoza-Varas, Gary Kidd, and Charles Watson with this project is gratefully acknowledged.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access