Auditory temporal processing, reading, and phonological awareness among aging adults

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Auditory temporal processing (ATP) has been related in the literature to both speech perception as well as reading and phonological awareness. In aging adults, it is known to be related to difficulties in speech perception. In the present study, we aimed to test whether an age-related deficit in ATP would also be accompanied by poor reading and phonological awareness. Thirty-eight aging adults were compared to 55 readers with dyslexia and 42 young normal readers on temporal order judgment (TOJ), speech perception, reading, and phonological awareness tests. Aging adults had longer TOJ thresholds than young normal readers, but shorter than readers with dyslexia; however, they had lower speech perception accuracy than both groups. Phonological awareness of the aging adults was better than readers with dyslexia, but poorer than young normal readers, although their reading accuracy was similar to that of the young controls. This is the first report on poor phonological awareness among aging adults. Suprisingly, it was not accompanied by difficulties in reading ability, and might instead be related to aging adults’ difficulties in speech perception. This newly discovered relationship between ATP and phonological awareness among aging adults appears to extend the existing understanding of this relationship, and suggests it should be explored in other groups with ATP deficits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalActa Psychologica
StatePublished - Oct 2018


  • Aging
  • Auditory temporal processing
  • Dyslexia
  • Phonological awareness
  • Reading
  • Speech perception


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