Lack of Generalization of Auditory Learning in Typically Developing Children PurposeTo understand the components of auditory learning in typically developing children by assessing generalization across stimuli, across modalities (i.e., hearing, vision), and to higher level language tasks.MethodEighty-six 8- to 10-year-old typically developing children were quasi-randomly assigned to 4 groups. Three of the groups received twelve 30-min training sessions on multiple ... Article
Article  |   February 01, 2012
Lack of Generalization of Auditory Learning in Typically Developing Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lorna F. Halliday
    MRC Institute of Hearing Research, University Park, Nottingham, United Kingdom
  • Jenny L. Taylor
    MRC Institute of Hearing Research, University Park, Nottingham, United Kingdom
  • Kerri E. Millward
    MRC Institute of Hearing Research, University Park, Nottingham, United Kingdom
  • David R. Moore
    MRC Institute of Hearing Research, University Park, Nottingham, United Kingdom
  • Correspondence to Lorna F. Halliday: l.halliday@ucl.ac.uk
  • Editor: Robert Schlauch
    Editor: Robert Schlauch×
  • Associate Editor: Beverly Wright
    Associate Editor: Beverly Wright×
Article Information
Development / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Hearing
Article   |   February 01, 2012
Lack of Generalization of Auditory Learning in Typically Developing Children
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2012, Vol. 55, 168-181. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/09-0213)
History: Received September 29, 2009 , Revised March 12, 2010 , Accepted June 3, 2011
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2012, Vol. 55, 168-181. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/09-0213)
History: Received September 29, 2009; Revised March 12, 2010; Accepted June 3, 2011
Web of Science® Times Cited: 12

PurposeTo understand the components of auditory learning in typically developing children by assessing generalization across stimuli, across modalities (i.e., hearing, vision), and to higher level language tasks.

MethodEighty-six 8- to 10-year-old typically developing children were quasi-randomly assigned to 4 groups. Three of the groups received twelve 30-min training sessions on multiple standards using either an auditory frequency discrimination task (AFD group), auditory phonetic discrimination task (PD group), or visual frequency discrimination task (VFD group) over 4 weeks. The 4th group, which was the no-intervention control (NI) group, did not receive any training. Thresholds on all tasks (AFD, PD, and VFD) were assessed immediately before and after training, along with performance on a battery of language assessments.

ResultsRelative to the other groups, both the AFD group and the PD group, but not the VFD group, showed significant learning on the stimuli upon which they were trained. However, in those instances where learning was observed, it did not generalize to the nontrained stimuli or to the language assessments.

ConclusionsNonspeech (AFD) or speech (PD) discrimination training can lead to auditory learning in typically developing children of this age range. However, this learning does not always generalize across stimuli or tasks, across modalities, or to higher level measures of language ability.

Acknowledgments
This research was funded entirely by the intramural program of the Medical Research Council (MRC) to the MRC Institute of Hearing Research. At the time of writing, Lorna F. Halliday was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.
We are grateful to Sygal Amitay, MRC Institute of Hearing Research, and Stuart Rosen, University College London, for helpful comments on an earlier draft of this article; Mark Edmondson-Jones, MRC Institute of Hearing Research, for advice on statistical analyses; and Terri Lewis, McMaster University, for advice on the reporting of visual psychophysical data. Thanks to David McDonald and Sarah Deed for assistance with data collection. Special thanks to the children, parents, teachers, and staff at St. Margaret Clitherow and Warren Primary Schools in Nottingham.
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