Temporal and non-temporal processes in the elderly

Leah Fostick, Harvey Babkoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background: The present study examined whether the reported age-related decline in auditory temporal resolution is specific to the temporal domain or rather reflects a general decline in auditory perception, including the stimulus intensity domain. Methods: The performance of 89 healthy participants aged between 21 and 82 years with normal hearing was tested on a variety of psychophysical tasks, where discrimination was based either on the temporal or on the intensity domains. Stimulus levels for all tasks were 40 dB SL (corrected for threshold). Participants were also tested on two cognitive tasks: Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, Third Edition, matrices and digit span. Results: Findings indicate that age was significantly negatively correlated with performance on three of the temporal resolution tasks, namely, dichotic temporalorder judgment, spectral temporal-order judgment, and gap detection, but not on the intensity discrimination task, thus emphasizing the specificity of the age-related decline to the auditory temporal domain. Conclusions: The overall results suggest that age-related changes in auditory perception are specific to the temporal domain, even when controlling for hearing sensitivity and cognitive ability, and are not reflected in other aspects of non-temporal perception, such as intensity discrimination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-199
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Basic and Clinical Physiology and Pharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • Aging
  • Auditory temporal processing
  • Nontemporal processing


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