Asynchronous Vowel-Pair Identification Across the Adult Life Span for Monaural and Dichotic Presentations PurposeTemporal order abilities decrease with age. Declining temporal processing abilities may influence the identification of rapid vowel sequences. Identification patterns for asynchronous vowel pairs were explored across the life span.MethodYoung, middle-aged, and older listeners completed temporal order tasks for pairs of 70-ms and 40-ms vowel stimuli. For a given vowel ... Article
Article  |   April 01, 2012
Asynchronous Vowel-Pair Identification Across the Adult Life Span for Monaural and Dichotic Presentations
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Daniel Fogerty
    Indiana University, Bloomington
  • Diane Kewley-Port
    Indiana University, Bloomington
  • Larry E. Humes
    Indiana University, Bloomington
  • Correspondence to Daniel Fogerty: fogerty@sc.edu
  • Daniel Fogerty is now with the the University of South Carolina, Columbia.
    Daniel Fogerty is now with the the University of South Carolina, Columbia.×
  • Editor: Sid Bacon
    Editor: Sid Bacon×
  • Associate Editor: Eric Healy
    Associate Editor: Eric Healy×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosody / Hearing
Article   |   April 01, 2012
Asynchronous Vowel-Pair Identification Across the Adult Life Span for Monaural and Dichotic Presentations
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2012, Vol. 55, 487-499. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/11-0102)
History: Received April 26, 2011 , Accepted August 15, 2011
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2012, Vol. 55, 487-499. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/11-0102)
History: Received April 26, 2011; Accepted August 15, 2011
Web of Science® Times Cited: 3

PurposeTemporal order abilities decrease with age. Declining temporal processing abilities may influence the identification of rapid vowel sequences. Identification patterns for asynchronous vowel pairs were explored across the life span.

MethodYoung, middle-aged, and older listeners completed temporal order tasks for pairs of 70-ms and 40-ms vowel stimuli. For a given vowel duration, naturally spoken vowels were equated for duration, intensity, and fundamental frequency. Listeners completed monaural and dichotic temporal order tasks that involved identifying the vowel pair in the correct order. The stimulus onset asynchrony that yielded 50% accuracy for identifying the vowel pair in the correct order was used to equate performance among listeners. Vowel identification response patterns were determined at this stimulus onset asynchrony threshold.

ResultsVowel identification patterns were largely consistent across age groups. Older listeners were influenced by the order of certain vowel pairs. Not all vowel pairs were identified equally well. Vowel dominance patterns were also observed, with /a/ being identified most accurately for the vowel pairs tested. Formant dynamics explained, in part, identification and confusion patterns.

ConclusionVowel identification accuracy patterns were reasonably similar across the life span, regardless of presentation mode, vowel duration, or effect of considerable stimulus exposure. Large effects of vowel order were observed, particularly for older listeners.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported, in part, by National Institute on Aging Grant R01 AG022334 and by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Training Grant T32-DC00012. We thank Dana Kinney as well as several research assistants involved with this project.
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