Individual Differences in Behavioral and Electrophysiological Measures of Binaural Processing Across the Adult Life Span Purpose The purpose of the present study was to examine individual differences in binaural processing across the adult life span. Method Sixty listeners (aged 23–80 years) with symmetrical hearing were tested. Binaural behavioral processing was measured by the Words-in-Noise Test, the 500-Hz masking level difference, and the Dichotic ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 2015
Individual Differences in Behavioral and Electrophysiological Measures of Binaural Processing Across the Adult Life Span
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Christina M. Roup
    The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Elizabeth D. Leigh
    Department of Veterans Affairs, Madison, WI
    University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • 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 Christina Roup: roup.2@osu.edu
  • Editor and Associate Editor: Larry Humes
    Editor and Associate Editor: Larry Humes×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing Disorders / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 2015
Individual Differences in Behavioral and Electrophysiological Measures of Binaural Processing Across the Adult Life Span
American Journal of Audiology, June 2015, Vol. 24, 204-215. doi:10.1044/2015_AJA-14-0017
History: Received March 25, 2014 , Revised September 11, 2014 , Accepted January 14, 2015
 
American Journal of Audiology, June 2015, Vol. 24, 204-215. doi:10.1044/2015_AJA-14-0017
History: Received March 25, 2014; Revised September 11, 2014; Accepted January 14, 2015

Purpose The purpose of the present study was to examine individual differences in binaural processing across the adult life span.

Method Sixty listeners (aged 23–80 years) with symmetrical hearing were tested. Binaural behavioral processing was measured by the Words-in-Noise Test, the 500-Hz masking level difference, and the Dichotic Digit Test. Electrophysiologic responses were assessed by the auditory middle latency response binaural interaction component.

Results No correlations among binaural measures were found. Age accounted for the greatest amount of variability in speech-in-noise performance. Age was significantly correlated with the Words-in-Noise Test binaural advantage and dichotic ear advantage. Partial correlations, however, revealed that this was an effect of hearing status rather than age per se. Inspection of individual results revealed that 20% of listeners demonstrated reduced binaural performance for at least 2 of the binaural measures.

Conclusions The lack of significant correlations among variables suggests that each is an important measurement of binaural abilities. For some listeners, binaural processing was abnormal, reflecting a binaural processing deficit not identified by monaural audiologic tests. The inclusion of a binaural test battery in the audiologic evaluation is supported given that these listeners may benefit from alternative forms of audiologic rehabilitation.

Acknowledgments
Portions of this research were presented at the American Auditory Society Conference, Scottsdale, Arizona (March 2013), and at Alzheimer's Research Day at the University of Wisconsin–Madison (March 2014). This research was supported by Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation Research and Development Career Development Award C4323V awarded to the second author.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire American Journal of Audiology content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access