Psychoacoustic Evaluation of the Effects of Aging Many older adults experience difficulties in complex listening environments that exceed expectations based on their audiometric thresholds. Review of past study of the auditory abilities of older adults indicates that age-related deficits are found primarily for aspects of temporal processing, with task complexity and uncertainty often increasing the effect of ... Article
Article  |   August 30, 2016
Psychoacoustic Evaluation of the Effects of Aging
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Stanley Sheft
    Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL
  • Valeriy Shafiro
    Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL
  • Emily Wang
    Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL
  • Lisa L. Barnes
    Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center and Departments of Neurological Sciences and Behavioral Sciences, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL
  • Raj C. Shah
    Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center and Department of Family Medicine, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL
  • Disclosures
    Disclosures×
  • Financial: This work was supported by grants RF1 AG022018, R01 AG017917, and P30 AG010161 from the National Institute on Aging; and by the Illinois Department of Public Health. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of any funding source.
    Financial: This work was supported by grants RF1 AG022018, R01 AG017917, and P30 AG010161 from the National Institute on Aging; and by the Illinois Department of Public Health. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of any funding source.×
  • Nonfinancial: The authors have no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.
    Nonfinancial: The authors have no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Hearing Disorders / Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Part 2
Article   |   August 30, 2016
Psychoacoustic Evaluation of the Effects of Aging
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, August 2016, Vol. 1, 36-46. doi:10.1044/persp1.SIG6.36
History: Received May 6, 2016 , Revised June 17, 2016 , Accepted June 21, 2016
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, August 2016, Vol. 1, 36-46. doi:10.1044/persp1.SIG6.36
History: Received May 6, 2016; Revised June 17, 2016; Accepted June 21, 2016

Many older adults experience difficulties in complex listening environments that exceed expectations based on their audiometric thresholds. Review of past study of the auditory abilities of older adults indicates that age-related deficits are found primarily for aspects of temporal processing, with task complexity and uncertainty often increasing the effect of aging on performance. In many studies, but not all, significant association has been found between psychoacoustic measures of temporal processing and both speech-in-noise abilities and cognitive status. Intended for clinical use, a brief procedure for evaluating psychoacoustic discrimination of static and dynamic spectral patterns is discussed. Along with showing a deleterious effect of aging on task performance, results indicate significant association between discrimination ability and the cognitive status of older adults. In preliminary evaluation of longitudinal data, the rate of decline in global cognitive status was significantly associated with baseline discrimination of dynamic spectral patterns. These results are consistent with the prominence of age-related deficits for temporal processing with stimulus uncertainty increasing the psychoacoustic effect.

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