The Developmental Trajectory of Spatial Listening Skills in Normal-Hearing Children PurposeTo establish the age at which children can complete tests of spatial listening and to measure the normative relationship between age and performance.MethodFifty-six normal-hearing children, ages 1.5–7.9 years, attempted tests of the ability to discriminate a sound source on the left from one on the right, to localize a source, ... Article
Article  |   June 01, 2012
The Developmental Trajectory of Spatial Listening Skills in Normal-Hearing Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Rosemary Elizabeth Susan Lovett
    University of York, Heslington, York, United Kingdom
  • Pádraig Thomas Kitterick
    University of York, Heslington, York, United Kingdom
  • Shan Huang
    University of York, Heslington, York, United Kingdom
  • Arthur Quentin Summerfield
    University of York, Heslington, York, United Kingdom
  • Correspondence to Rosemary Elizabeth Susan Lovett: r.lovett@ucl.ac.uk
  • Editor: Sid Bacon
    Editor: Sid Bacon×
  • Associate Editor: Emily Tobey
    Associate Editor: Emily Tobey×
Article Information
Hearing
Article   |   June 01, 2012
The Developmental Trajectory of Spatial Listening Skills in Normal-Hearing Children
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2012, Vol. 55, 865-878. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/11-0096)
History: Received April 19, 2011 , Revised August 15, 2011 , Accepted October 12, 2011
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2012, Vol. 55, 865-878. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/11-0096)
History: Received April 19, 2011; Revised August 15, 2011; Accepted October 12, 2011
Web of Science® Times Cited: 7

PurposeTo establish the age at which children can complete tests of spatial listening and to measure the normative relationship between age and performance.

MethodFifty-six normal-hearing children, ages 1.5–7.9 years, attempted tests of the ability to discriminate a sound source on the left from one on the right, to localize a source, to track moving sources, and to perceive speech in noise.

ResultsTests of left–right discrimination, movement tracking, and speech perception were completed by ≥75% of children older than 3 years. Children showed adult levels of performance from age 1.5 years (movement tracking), 3 years (left–right discrimination), and 6 years (localization and speech in noise). Spatial release from masking—calculated as the difference in speech reception thresholds between conditions with spatially coincident and spatially separate speech and noise—remained constant at 5 dB from age 3 years. Data from a separate study demonstrate the age at which children with cochlear implants can complete the same tests. Assessments of left–right discrimination, movement tracking, and speech perception were completed by ≥75% of children who are older than 5 years and who wear cochlear implants.

ConclusionThese data can guide the selection of tests for future studies and inform the interpretation of results from clinical populations.

Acknowledgments
The first author received a studentship from Deafness Research UK (419:YOR:QS) and is currently supported by an International Research Grant from Action on Hearing Loss (G48 Vickers). A summary of the performance of normal-hearing children aggregated across age, and details of the performance of children with cochlear implants, were reported by Lovett et al. (2010) .
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access