Behavioral Auditory Assessment of Young Infants Methodological Limitations or Natural Lack of Auditory Responsiveness? Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 2000
Behavioral Auditory Assessment of Young Infants
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Candace Bourland Hicks
    Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
    Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center, 1114 19th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37212.
  • Anne Marie Tharpe
    Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
  • Daniel H. Ashmead
    Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing Disorders / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 2000
Behavioral Auditory Assessment of Young Infants
American Journal of Audiology, December 2000, Vol. 9, 124-130. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2000/015)
History: Received January 10, 2000 , Accepted July 13, 2000
 
American Journal of Audiology, December 2000, Vol. 9, 124-130. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2000/015)
History: Received January 10, 2000; Accepted July 13, 2000

The determination of auditory thresholds by means of behavioral techniques in young infants can be difficult. This could be the result of limitations in methodology, a lack of observable auditory responsiveness, or both. In the current study, 2- and 4-month old infants were tested under enhanced conditions for obtaining behavioral responses (i.e., salient auditory stimuli, reduced visual distractions, reinforced correct responses). A two-interval, forced-choice task with four intensity levels was used. Although a behavioral threshold was obtained for the 4-month-olds, threshold determination for the 2-month-olds remained elusive. In light of the current findings and previous studies of visual acuity of infants, these results suggest a lack of behavioral responsiveness to auditory stimuli for the younger infants rather than methodological limitations. With infants in the 2-month-old age range, clinical audiologists should expect few behavioral responses to auditory stimuli at intensity levels below those that elicit startle responses.

Acknowledgments
We thank the Vanderbilt University Department of Pediatrics for their assistance in subject recruitment and the parents who agreed to have their infants participate in this study. We also thank Don Riggs for assistance with the equipment.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire American Journal of Audiology content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access