Is the Role of External Feedback in Auditory Skill Learning Age Dependent? Purpose The purpose of this study is to investigate the role of external feedback in auditory perceptual learning of school-age children as compared with that of adults. Method Forty-eight children (7–9 years of age) and 64 adults (20–35 years of age) conducted a training session using an auditory ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 20, 2017
Is the Role of External Feedback in Auditory Skill Learning Age Dependent?
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Yael Zaltz
    Department of Communication Disorders, The Stanley Steyer School of Health Professions, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Israel
  • Daphne Ari-Even Roth
    Department of Communication Disorders, The Stanley Steyer School of Health Professions, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Israel
  • Liat Kishon-Rabin
    Department of Communication Disorders, The Stanley Steyer School of Health Professions, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Israel
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Yael Zaltz: yaelzaltz@gmail.com
  • Editor: Frederick (Erick) Gallun
    Editor: Frederick (Erick) Gallun×
  • Associate Editor: Mitchell Sommers
    Associate Editor: Mitchell Sommers×
Article Information
Development / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 20, 2017
Is the Role of External Feedback in Auditory Skill Learning Age Dependent?
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2017, Vol. 60, 3656-3666. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-H-16-0446
History: Received December 7, 2016 , Revised July 13, 2017 , Accepted August 21, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2017, Vol. 60, 3656-3666. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-H-16-0446
History: Received December 7, 2016; Revised July 13, 2017; Accepted August 21, 2017
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Purpose The purpose of this study is to investigate the role of external feedback in auditory perceptual learning of school-age children as compared with that of adults.

Method Forty-eight children (7–9 years of age) and 64 adults (20–35 years of age) conducted a training session using an auditory frequency discrimination (difference limen for frequency) task, with external feedback (EF) provided for half of them.

Results Data supported the following findings: (a) Children learned the difference limen for frequency task only when EF was provided. (b) The ability of the children to benefit from EF was associated with better cognitive skills. (c) Adults showed significant learning whether EF was provided or not. (d) In children, within-session learning following training was dependent on the provision of feedback, whereas between-sessions learning occurred irrespective of feedback.

Conclusions EF was found beneficial for auditory skill learning of 7–9-year-old children but not for young adults. The data support the supervised Hebbian model for auditory skill learning, suggesting combined bottom-up internal neural feedback controlled by top-down monitoring. In the case of immature executive functions, EF enhanced auditory skill learning. This study has implications for the design of training protocols in the auditory modality for different age groups, as well as for special populations.

Acknowledgments
The authors wish to thank Yehuda Ben-Simon for the software design and Yairi grant (Communications Disorder Department) and Styer grant (School of Health Professions) for their financial support. The authors would like to acknowledge the contribution of the undergraduate students Pinder Yael, Ankara Hedva, Rozman Racheli, Ginsburg Yehudith, Grinbom Tzvia, and Pital Tehila from the Communication Disorders Department at Tel Aviv University for assisting in the data collection.
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