Measures of hearing threshold and temporal processing across the adult lifespan

Larry E. Humes, Diane Kewley-Port, Daniel Fogerty, Dana Kinney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Psychophysical data on hearing sensitivity and various measures of supra-threshold auditory temporal processing are presented for large groups of young (18-35. y), middle-aged (40-55. y) and older (60-89. y) adults. Hearing thresholds were measured at 500, 1414 and 4000. Hz. Measures of temporal processing included gap-detection thresholds for bands of noise centered at 1000 and 3500. Hz, stimulus onset asynchronies for monaural and dichotic temporal-order identification for brief vowels, and stimulus onset/offset asynchronies for the monaural temporal masking of vowel identification. For all temporal-processing measures, the impact of high-frequency hearing loss in older adults was minimized by a combination of low-pass filtering the stimuli and use of high presentation levels. The performance of the older adults was worse than that of the young adults on all measures except gap-detection threshold at 1000. Hz. Middle-aged adults performed significantly worse than the young adults on measures of threshold sensitivity and three of the four measures of temporal-order identification, but not for any of the measures of temporal masking. Individual differences are also examined among a group of 124 older adults. Cognition and age were found to be significant predictors, although only 10-27% of the variance could be accounted for by these predictors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-40
Number of pages11
JournalHearing Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Hearing loss
  • Individual differences
  • Temporal processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems


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