Frequency dependence of binaural performance in listeners with impaired binaural hearing

Kaigham J. Gabriel, Janet Koehnke, H. teven Colburn

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Binaural performance was measured as a function of stimulus frequency for four impaired listeners, each with bilaterally symmetric audiograms. The subjects had various degrees and configurations of audiometric losses: two had high-frequency, sensorineural losses; one had a flat sensorineural loss; and one had multiple sclerosis with normal audiometric thresholds. Just noticeable differences (jnd's) in interaural time, interaural intensity, and interaural correlation as well as detection thresholds for NoSo and NoSp conditions were obtained for narrow-band noise stimuli at octave frequencies from 250-4000 Hz. Performance of the impaired listeners was generally poorer than that of normal-hearing listeners, although it was comparable to normal in a few instances. The patterns of binaural performance showed no apparent relation to the audiometric patterns; even the two subjects with similar degree and configuration of hearing loss have very different binaural performance, both in the level and frequency dependence of their performance. The frequency dependence of performance on individual tests is irregular enough that one cannot confidently interpolate between octaves. In addition, it appears that no subset of the measurements is adequate to characterize the performance in the rest of the measurements with the exception that, within limits, interaural correlation discrimination and NoSp detection performance are related.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)336-347
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1992


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