Cognitive flexibility and inhibition in individuals with age-related hearing loss

Shraddha A. Shende, Lydia T. Nguyen, Elizabeth A. Lydon, Fatima T. Husain, Raksha Mudar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Growing evidence suggests alterations in cognitive control processes in individuals with varying degrees of age-related hearing loss (ARHL); however, alterations in those with unaided mild ARHL are understudied. The current study examined two cognitive control processes, cognitive flexibility, and inhibition, in 21 older adults with unaided mild ARHL and 18 age- and educationmatched normal hearing (NH) controls. All participants underwent comprehensive audiological and cognitive evaluations including Trail Making Test-B, Verbal Fluency, Stroop, and two Go/NoGo tasks. Group differences in cognitive flexibility and inhibition as well as associations between peripheral and central hearing ability and measures of cognitive flexibility and inhibition were investigated. Findings revealed that the ARHL group took significantly longer to complete the Stroop task and had higher error rates on NoGo trials on both Go/NoGo tasks relative to the NH controls. Additionally, poorer peripheral and central hearing were associated with poorer cognitive flexibility and inhibitory control. Our findings suggest slower and more inefficient inhibitory control in the mild ARHL group relative to the NH group and add to decades of research on the association between hearing and cognition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number22
JournalGeriatrics (Switzerland)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 5 2021


  • Age-related hearing loss
  • Cognitive flexibility
  • Hearing
  • Inhibition
  • Speech-in-noise recognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Gerontology
  • Health(social science)


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