Improved Gap Detection Thresholds Following Auditory Training: Evidence of Auditory Plasticity in Older Adults Purpose In this article, the authors aimed to measure the course of improvement in a gap-detection (GD) task following multisession training in older compared with young adults. Method Participants with normal hearing (N = 30) were divided into 4 groups: 2 groups of older and young adults who ... Research Forum
Research Forum  |   December 01, 2013
Improved Gap Detection Thresholds Following Auditory Training: Evidence of Auditory Plasticity in Older Adults
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Liat Kishon-Rabin
    Tel Aviv University, Israel
  • Meital Avivi-Reich
    Tel Aviv University, Israel
  • Daphne Ari-Even Roth
    Tel Aviv University, Israel
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Liat Kishon-Rabin: lrabin@post.tau.ac.il
  • Editor: Larry Humes
    Editor: Larry Humes×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Audiologic / Aural Rehabilitation / Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Research Forum
Research Forum   |   December 01, 2013
Improved Gap Detection Thresholds Following Auditory Training: Evidence of Auditory Plasticity in Older Adults
American Journal of Audiology, December 2013, Vol. 22, 343-346. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2013/12-0084)
History: Received December 30, 2012 , Revised May 25, 2013 , Accepted June 8, 2013
 
American Journal of Audiology, December 2013, Vol. 22, 343-346. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2013/12-0084)
History: Received December 30, 2012; Revised May 25, 2013; Accepted June 8, 2013
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Purpose In this article, the authors aimed to measure the course of improvement in a gap-detection (GD) task following multisession training in older compared with young adults.

Method Participants with normal hearing (N = 30) were divided into 4 groups: 2 groups of older and young adults who received multisession training over 10 days (9 adults/group, Mage = 64.7 years and 24.1 years, respectively) and 2 control groups of older and young adults (6 adults/group, Mage = 65.4 years and 26.3 years, respectively). Stimuli consisted of silent gaps marked by 2 noise bands centered at 1000 Hz. GD thresholds (GDTs) were measured through use of an adaptive procedure in each testing day, 24 hr post-training and at 1 month post-training.

Results Initial GDTs of the older group were significantly poorer than those of the young adults. However, by the fourth training day, the mean GDTs of the 2 groups were similar, and both groups showed the same rate of improvement in the following sessions. Data of the controls confirmed that the better GDTs of the trained groups resulted from their training. Retention of learning was demonstrated for both age groups.

Conclusions The data from this study support the notion that some aspects of auditory learning and temporal resolution may be preserved in the elderly.

Acknowledgments
We acknowledge the contributions of Sharon Ashuel and Mali Vilensky for some of the data collection. We also thank Eti Shabtai for the statistical analysis. This research is based on a master's thesis completed at Tel Aviv University by Meital Avivi-Reich.
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