Effects of Age and Hearing Loss on Gap Detection and the Precedence Effect Narrow-Band Stimuli Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2005
Effects of Age and Hearing Loss on Gap Detection and the Precedence Effect
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jennifer J. Lister
    University of South Florida, Tampa
  • Richard A. Roberts
    The American Institute of Balance, Seminole, FL
  • Contact author: Jennifer J. Lister, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, PCD 1017, Tampa, FL 33620. E-mail: jlister@chuma1.cas.usf.edu
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Disorders / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 2005
Effects of Age and Hearing Loss on Gap Detection and the Precedence Effect
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2005, Vol. 48, 482-493. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2005/033)
History: Received August 28, 2003 , Revised January 13, 2004 , Accepted September 22, 2004
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2005, Vol. 48, 482-493. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2005/033)
History: Received August 28, 2003; Revised January 13, 2004; Accepted September 22, 2004
Web of Science® Times Cited: 33

Deficits in temporal resolution and/or the precedence effect may underlie part of the speech understanding difficulties experienced by older listeners in degraded acoustic environments. In a previous investigation, R. Roberts and J. Lister (2004) identified a positive correlation between measures of temporal resolution and the precedence effect, specifically across-channel gap detection (as measured dichotically) and fusion. Across-channel gap detection may also be measured using frequency-disparate markers. Thus, the present investigation was designed to determine if the relation is specific to dichotic gap detection or may generalize to all types of across-channel gap detection. Gap-detection thresholds (GDTs) for fixed-frequency and frequency-disparate markers and lag-burst thresholds (LBTs) were measured for 3 groups of listeners: young with normal hearing sensitivity (YNH), older with normal hearing sensitivity (ONH), and older with sensorineural hearing loss (OIH). Also included were conditions of diotic and dichotic GDT. Largest GDTs were measured for the frequency-disparate markers, whereas largest LBTs were measured for the fixed-frequency markers. ONH and OIH listeners exhibited larger frequency-disparate and dichotic GDTs than YNH listeners. Listener age and hearing loss appeared to influence temporal resolution for frequency-disparate and dichotic stimuli, which is potentially important for the resolution of timing cues in speech. Age and hearing loss did not significantly influence fusion as measured by LBTs. Within each participant group, most GDTs and LBTs were positively, but not significantly, correlated. For all participants combined, across-channel GDTs and LBTs were positively and significantly correlated. This suggests that the 2 tasks may rely on a common across-channel temporal mechanism.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported in part by an American Academy of Audiology New Investigator Award. The authors would like to thank Curneisha Bryant-Terry, Jennifer McClellan, Jennifer Shackelford, and Lauren Stack for their assistance with data collection.
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