Gap Detection as a Function of Stimulus Loudness for Listeners With and Without Hearing Loss Temporal resolution, or the ability to process rapidly changing stimuli, has been purported to be reduced in some listeners with hearing loss while being described as normal in others. Ensuring stimulus audibility by increasing stimulus levels results in near-normal temporal resolution abilities for many listeners with hearing loss, but may ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 1997
Gap Detection as a Function of Stimulus Loudness for Listeners With and Without Hearing Loss
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Peggy B. Nelson
    The University of Kansas Medical Center Kansas City
    Division of Otolaryngology, University of Maryland at Baltimore, 16 S. Eutaw Street, Suite 500, Baltimore, MD 21201
  • Susan Dwyer Thomas
    The University of Kansas Medical Center Kansas City
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: pnelson@umabnet.ab.umd.edu
  • Currently affiliated with the Otorhinolaryngology Department, U.S. Naval Hospital, Okinawa, Japan
    Currently affiliated with the Otorhinolaryngology Department, U.S. Naval Hospital, Okinawa, Japan×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Disorders / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 1997
Gap Detection as a Function of Stimulus Loudness for Listeners With and Without Hearing Loss
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1997, Vol. 40, 1387-1394. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4006.1387
History: Received July 15, 1996 , Accepted April 29, 1997
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1997, Vol. 40, 1387-1394. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4006.1387
History: Received July 15, 1996; Accepted April 29, 1997

Temporal resolution, or the ability to process rapidly changing stimuli, has been purported to be reduced in some listeners with hearing loss while being described as normal in others. Ensuring stimulus audibility by increasing stimulus levels results in near-normal temporal resolution abilities for many listeners with hearing loss, but may also result in uncomfortably loud stimulus levels. The current study was conducted to describe temporal resolution abilities of listeners with and without hearing loss as a function of stimulus loudness. The gap detection abilities of 8 listeners with normal hearing were compared with those of 8 listeners with mild to moderate hearing losses over a wide range of intensities using a 650-Hz wide high-frequency noise marker. At low intensities, listeners with hearing loss show poor gap detection ability. As intensity increases, most listeners’ performance improves and stabilizes near normal at high loudness and sensation levels. At comfortable loudness, gap detection abilities of listeners with hearing loss are less than at loud levels and are considerably poorer than normal.

Acknowledgments
The authors appreciate the helpful suggestions of Pete Fitzgibbons on an earlier version of this manuscript. In addition, the constructive comments of Mary Florentine, Robert Shannon, Sid Bacon, and two anonymous reviewers contributed to this article’s final form and are appreciated.
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