Factors Affecting the Processing of Intensity in School-Aged Children PurposeThresholds of school-aged children are elevated relative to those of adults for intensity discrimination and amplitude modulation (AM) detection. It is unclear how these findings are related or what role stimulus gating and dynamic envelope cues play in these results. Two experiments assessed the development of sensitivity to intensity increments ... Article
Article  |   February 01, 2013
Factors Affecting the Processing of Intensity in School-Aged Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Emily Buss
    University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill
  • Joseph W. Hall, III
    University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill
  • John H. Grose
    University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill
  • Correspondence to Emily Buss: ebuss@med.unc.edu
  • Editor: Sid Bacon
    Editor: Sid Bacon×
  • Associate Editor: Majorie Leek
    Associate Editor: Majorie Leek×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Hearing
Article   |   February 01, 2013
Factors Affecting the Processing of Intensity in School-Aged Children
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2013, Vol. 56, 71-80. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/12-0008)
History: Received January 1, 2012 , Accepted June 29, 2012
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2013, Vol. 56, 71-80. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/12-0008)
History: Received January 1, 2012; Accepted June 29, 2012
Web of Science® Times Cited: 2

PurposeThresholds of school-aged children are elevated relative to those of adults for intensity discrimination and amplitude modulation (AM) detection. It is unclear how these findings are related or what role stimulus gating and dynamic envelope cues play in these results. Two experiments assessed the development of sensitivity to intensity increments in different stimulus contexts.

MethodThresholds for detecting an increment in level were estimated for normal-hearing children (5- to 10-year-olds) and adults. Experiment 1 compared intensity discrimination for gated and continuous presentation of a 1-kHz tone, with a 65-dB-SPL standard level. Experiment 2 compared increment detection and 16-Hz AM detection introduced into a continuous 1-kHz tone, with either 35- or 75-dB-SPL standard levels.

ResultsChildren had higher thresholds than adults overall. All listeners were more sensitive to increments in the continuous than the gated stimulus and performed better at the 75- than at the 35-dB-SPL standard level. Both effects were comparable for children and adults. There was some evidence that children’s AM detection was more adultlike than increment detection.

ConclusionThese results imply that memory for loudness across gated intervals is not responsible for children’s poor performance but that multiple dynamic envelope cues may benefit children more than adults.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grants R01 DC000397 and R01 DC 007391. A subset of data was presented at the 29th Midwinter Research Meeting of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology in Baltimore, Maryland (February 2006).
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