Project Details


DESCRIPTION: (Adapted from the Investigator's Abstract) One of the changes most
frequently associated with aging is a loss of auditory sensitivity known as
presbyacusis. Presbyacusis and its associated effects on auditory function
often seriously reduce the ability of older adults to understand speech, which
impacts everyday activities. The majority of research on presbyacusis has
involved individual ear measures, ignoring the contribution of binaural and
spatial hearing, although binaural interaction is known to be essential for
effective communication and localization of speech and warning signals.
Therefore, it is essential to quantify the type and the extent of the effects
of presbyacusis on these abilities in order to achieve the long-term goal of
developing effective remediation strategies for older adults. We intend to
assess the speech understanding and sound localization skills of individuals
with and without prebyacusis and to measure binaural detection on traditional
detection tasks (e.g., MLD) and a spatial detection task. These detection tasks
directly evaluate sensitivity to the predominant binaural cues of interaural
time and intensity differences that are involved in the auditory processing of
complex stimuli that occur in typical listening situations. The detection data
will provide a direct means to systematically evaluate the theoretical
relationships between speech understanding and basic sensitivity to interaural
time and intensity cues described by Zurek (1993). The results of these
experiments will also enable us to (1) identify binaural processing abilities
of older individuals and (2) determine relationships between any impairment in
basic binaural processing and performance on complex spatial tasks. Using this
information we plan to design a simple binaural test or tests to predict the
impact of presbyacusis on complex auditory signal processing and to develop
effective management strategies to improve communication and facilitate
auditory perception for older adults.
Effective start/end date1/07/0030/06/04


  • National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders: $68,419.00
  • National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders: $144,941.00


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