Dichotic Word Recognition in Noise and the Right-Ear Advantage PurposeThis study sought to compare dichotic right-ear advantages (REAs) of young adults to older adult data (C. M. Roup, T. L. Wiley, & R. H. Wilson, 2006) after matching for overall levels of recognition performance. Specifically, speech-spectrum noise was introduced in order to reduce dichotic recognition performance of young adults ... Research Note
Research Note  |   February 01, 2011
Dichotic Word Recognition in Noise and the Right-Ear Advantage
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Christina M. Roup
    The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Contact author: Christina M. Roup, The Ohio State University, Department of Speech and Hearing Science, 110 Pressey Hall, 1070 Carmack Road, Columbus, OH 43210. E-mail: roup.2@osu.edu.
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Disorders / Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Hearing
Research Note   |   February 01, 2011
Dichotic Word Recognition in Noise and the Right-Ear Advantage
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2011, Vol. 54, 292-297. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/09-0230)
History: Received October 20, 2009 , Accepted June 8, 2010
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2011, Vol. 54, 292-297. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/09-0230)
History: Received October 20, 2009; Accepted June 8, 2010
Web of Science® Times Cited: 2

PurposeThis study sought to compare dichotic right-ear advantages (REAs) of young adults to older adult data (C. M. Roup, T. L. Wiley, & R. H. Wilson, 2006) after matching for overall levels of recognition performance. Specifically, speech-spectrum noise was introduced in order to reduce dichotic recognition performance of young adults to a level consistent with that of older adults with hearing loss.

MethodDichotic word-recognition performance was evaluated in the free-recall response paradigm across 2 conditions: (a) quiet and (b) noise (+11 dB signal-to-noise ratio). Participants included a group of right-handed young adults (n = 32) with normal hearing.

ResultsThe introduction of noise resulted in significantly poorer dichotic word-recognition performance than in the quiet condition for the young adults. REAs, however, did not differ between the 2 conditions. Relative to the Roup et al. (2006)  older adult data, performance of the young adults in the noise condition resulted in (a) similar levels of overall recognition performance and (b) significantly smaller REAs.

ConclusionsResults suggest that the magnitude of the REA is not dependent upon the difficulty of the dichotic task. Rather, the large REAs exhibited by older adults are more likely related to age-related deficits in auditory processing.

Acknowledgments
Portions of this research were presented at the 2008 meeting of the American Auditory Society in Scottsdale, AZ. I would like to thank Terry L. Wiley for his comments on this article. I would also like to thank Kelsey Egelhoff, Elizabeth Moller, Shelley Bloom, and Makenzie Kline for their assistance with data collection.
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