Age Effects on Measures of Auditory Duration Discrimination This study examined auditory temporal sensitivity in young adult and elderly listeners using psychophysical tasks that measured duration discrimination. Listeners in the experiments were divided into groups of young and elderly subjects with normal hearing sensitivity and with mild-to-moderate sloping sensorineural hearing loss. Temporal thresholds in all tasks were measured ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 1994
Age Effects on Measures of Auditory Duration Discrimination
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Peter J. Fitzgibbons
    Gallaudet University Washington, DC
  • Sandra Gordon-Salant
    University of Maryland College Park
  • Contact author: Peter J. Fitzgibbons, PhD, Gallaudet University, Center for Auditory & Speech Sciences, 800 Florida Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20002-3695.
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing Disorders / Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 1994
Age Effects on Measures of Auditory Duration Discrimination
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1994, Vol. 37, 662-670. doi:10.1044/jshr.3703.662
History: Received June 11, 1993 , Accepted December 28, 1993
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1994, Vol. 37, 662-670. doi:10.1044/jshr.3703.662
History: Received June 11, 1993; Accepted December 28, 1993

This study examined auditory temporal sensitivity in young adult and elderly listeners using psychophysical tasks that measured duration discrimination. Listeners in the experiments were divided into groups of young and elderly subjects with normal hearing sensitivity and with mild-to-moderate sloping sensorineural hearing loss. Temporal thresholds in all tasks were measured with an adaptive forced-choice procedure using tonal stimuli centered at 500 Hz and 4000 Hz. Difference limens for duration were measured for tone bursts (250 msec reference duration) and for silent intervals between tone bursts (250 msec and 6.4 msec reference durations). Results showed that the elderly listeners exhibited diminished duration discrimination for both tones and silent intervals when the reference duration was 250 msec. Hearing loss did not affect these results. Discrimination of the brief temporal gap (6.4 msec) was influenced by age and hearing loss, but these effects were not consistent across all listeners. Effects of stimulus frequency were not evident for most of the duration discrimination conditions.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by a grant from the National Institute on Aging (R01-AG09191). The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Yulin Chen for software development and Linda Carr-Kraft, Susan Phillips, and Sarah Hargus for their efforts during the data-collection phases of this project.
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