Saransh Jain, Bhavana Purigali Vasudevamurthy, Ashiwini Pejathaya Raghavendra
(Department of Audiology and Speech Language Pathology, Jagadguru Sri Shivarathreeshwara Institute of Speech and Hearing, Mysore, India)
JHS 2015; 5(2): 23-35
Auditory temporal processing is the ability of the nervous system to detect small variations in the duration of an acoustic stimuli. A substantial body of research is available on the development of various temporal skills, but temporal resolution abilities have not been well investigated in terms of speech and non-speech stimuli. The present study investigates the development of temporal resolution abilities in children.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A normative cross-sectional research design was adopted by administering a set of psychoacoustic tests involving both speech and non-speech stimuli. Six groups of 20 children each, aged 6–12 years, with a 1-year interval between each age group, were tested and the results were compared with those of 20 adults.
RESULTS: The results revealed generally poorer performance of children on the entire test battery. Temporal modulation transfer function test scores, word recognition scores, and categorical perception of stop consonants matured by about 10–11 years of age. Gap detection test and time compressed speech test results showed maturation at around 8–9 years of age, whereas temporal change detection continued to mature even for the second decade of life.
CONCLUSIONS: Overall, maturation of temporal processing skills is reached by 10–11 years of age. This information is relevant when evaluating children with various processing disorders, and should also be considered when developing various assessment and rehabilitation protocols for children with special abilities.
Keywords: Auditory Perception, Auditory Perceptual Disorders, Psychoacoustics, Psychophysics, Speech Perception