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Attentional resources are needed for auditory stream segregation in aging

Published on Dec 22, 2017in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience3.633
· DOI :10.3389/fnagi.2017.00414
Elizabeth A. Dinces5
Estimated H-index: 5
(Albert Einstein College of Medicine),
Elyse S. Sussman36
Estimated H-index: 36
(Albert Einstein College of Medicine)
Abstract
The ability to select sound streams from background noise becomes challenging with age, even with normal peripheral auditory functioning. Reduced stream segregation ability has been reported in older compared to younger adults. However, the reason why there is a difference is still unknown. The current study investigated the hypothesis that automatic sound processing is impaired with aging, which then contributes to difficulty actively selecting subsets of sounds in noisy environments. We presented a simple intensity oddball sequence in various conditions with irrelevant background sounds while recording EEG. The ability to detect the oddball tones was dependent on the ability to automatically or actively segregate the sounds to frequency streams. Listeners were able to actively segregate sounds to perform the loudness detection task, but there was no indication of automatic segregation of background sounds while watching a movie. Thus, our results indicate impaired automatic processes in aging that may explain more effortful listening, and that tax attentional systems when selecting sound streams in noisy environments.
  • References (27)
  • Citations (1)
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References27
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#1Alessia Pannese (Columbia University)H-Index: 4
#2Christoph HerrmannH-Index: 66
Last. Elyse S. Sussman (Albert Einstein College of Medicine)H-Index: 36
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Detecting regularity and change in the environment is crucial for survival, as it enables making predictions about the world and informing goal-directed behavior. In the auditory modality, the detection of regularity involves segregating incoming sounds into distinct perceptual objects (stream segregation). The detection of change from this within-stream regularity is associated with the mismatch negativity, a component of auditory event-related brain potentials (ERPs). A central unanswered ques...
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#1Stephan Getzmann (Technical University of Dortmund)H-Index: 8
#2Michael Falkenstein (Technical University of Dortmund)H-Index: 50
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Abstract The ability to understand speech under adverse listening conditions deteriorates with age. In addition to genuine hearing deficits, age-related declines in attentional and inhibitory control are assumed to contribute to these difficulties. Here, the impact of task-irrelevant distractors on speech perception was studied in 28 younger and 24 older participants in a simulated “cocktail party” scenario. In a two-alternative forced-choice word discrimination task, the participants responded ...
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#1Elyse S. Sussman (Albert Einstein College of Medicine)H-Index: 36
#2Mitchell Steinschneider (Albert Einstein College of Medicine)H-Index: 34
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Natural sound environments are dynamic, with overlapping acoustic input originating from simultaneously active sources. A key function of the auditory system is to integrate sensory inputs that belong together and segregate those that come from different sources. We hypothesized that this skill is impaired in individuals with phonological processing difficulties. There is considerable disagreement about whether phonological impairments observed in children with developmental language disorders c...
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#1Elyse S. Sussman (Albert Einstein College of Medicine)H-Index: 36
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Auditory scene analysis begins in infancy, making it possible for the baby to distinguish its mother's voice from other noises in the environment. Despite the importance of this process for human behavior, the question of how perceptual sound organization develops during childhood is not well understood. The current study investigated the role of attention for perceiving sound streams in a group of school-aged children and young adults. We behaviorally determined the frequency separation at whic...
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Detection of amplitude modulation (AM) in 500 and 4000 Hz tonal carriers was measured as a function of modulation frequency from younger and older adults with normal hearing through 4000 Hz. The modulation frequency above which sensitivity to AM increased (“transition frequency”) was similar for both groups. Temporal modulation transfer function shapes showed significant age-related differences. For younger subjects, AM detection thresholds were generally constant for low modulation frequencies....
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#1Joel S. SnyderH-Index: 24
#2Claude Alain (U of T: University of Toronto)H-Index: 53
Normal aging is accompanied by speech perception difficulties, especially in adverse listening situations such as a cocktail party. To assess whether such difficulties might be related to impairments in sequential auditory scene analysis, event-related brain potentials were recorded from normal-hearing young, middle-aged, and older adults during presentation of low (A) tones, high (B) tones, and silences (—) in repeating 3 tone triplets (ABA—). The likelihood of reporting hearing 2 streams incre...
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The aim of the study was to examine central auditory processes compromised by age, age-related hearing loss, and the presentation of a distracting cafeteria noise using auditory event-related potentials (ERPs). In addition, the relation of ERPs to behavioral measures of discrimination was investigated. Three groups of subjects participated: young normal hearing, elderly subjects with normal hearing for their age, and elderly hearing-impaired subjects. Psychoacoustic frequency discrimination thre...
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#1Joel S. SnyderH-Index: 24
#2Claude Alain (U of T: University of Toronto)H-Index: 53
Abstract Older adults exhibit degraded speech comprehension in complex sound environments, which may be related to overall age-related declines in low-level sound segregation. This hypothesis was tested by measuring event-related potentials (ERPs) while listeners identified two different vowels presented simultaneously. Older adults were less accurate than young adults at identifying the two vowels, although both groups improved similarly with increasing fundamental frequency differences (Δ ƒ 0 ...
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Abstract Processing regular patterns in auditory scenes is important for navigating complex environments. Electroencephalography (EEG) studies find enhancement of sustained brain activity, correlating with the emergence of a regular pattern in sounds. How aging, aging-related diseases such as Parkinson’s disease (PD), and treatment of PD with dopaminergic therapy affect this fundamental function remain unknown. We addressed this knowledge gap. Healthy younger and older adults, and PD patients li...
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