Behavioural Indices of Central Auditory Processing
DEFENCE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT TORONTO (CANADA)
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This research examined the effect of aging, gender, ear and practice on the outcomes of a battery of behavioural tests used in clinical practice to diagnose pathology of the central auditory system. The test battery included the Dichotic Digits Test, Duration Patterns Test, Frequency Patterns Test and Gaps-in-Noise Test. The ultimate goal was to determine whether such tests might be useful in diagnosing pathology of central origin in cases where peripheral auditory pathology has been ruled out but hearing problems persist. Two groups of 12 subjects aged 18-39 years and 40-60 years, respectively, were tested. Half of each group were males and half females. All were fluent in English, had normal or corrected normal vision and normal hearing, and had no history of otological or neurological disease or head trauma. Subjects were tested individually in a sound proof booth. The test materials were commercially available on compact discs CDs. These were presented at a comfortable listening level. All but the Gaps-in-Noise Test were presented twice. Subjects recorded their responses using paper and pencil. The results showed that there were no significant effects of age, gender, ear or replication. Thus, the outcomes for the 24 subjects were pooled. Means and standard deviations were similar to published norms. However, based on the high incidence 25 of subjects whose scores would have been judged abnormal and the relatively wide range of outcomes for the Duration Patterns Test, and the published low hit rate for individuals with central auditory nervous system pathology for the Gaps-in-Noise Test, these two tests were not recommended for further consideration.