Influence of a secondary task on the understanding of continuous discourse by younger and older adults

Authors

  • Dana R. Murphy Univ of Toronto at Mississauga, Mississauga, Canada
  • Meredyth Daneman Univ of Toronto at Mississauga, Mississauga, Canada
  • Bruce A. Schneider Univ of Toronto at Mississauga, Mississauga, Canada

Keywords:

Acoustic intensity, Audition, Cognitive processing

Abstract

Schneider, Daneman, Murphy, and Kwong See (1998) showed that when sound levels were adjusted to compensate for individual differences in hearing, the ability of both younger and older adults to answer questions based on connected discourse was nearly equivalent at all levels of noise. In the absence of such adjustments, older adults answered fewer questions correctly than younger adults. These two results suggest that poorer hearing, rather than a decline in cognitive processing, is the reason why older adults are less able to recall information from connected discourse. However, in the previous study, the participants were able to focus their attention on the connected discourse. In everyday listening situations, we often have to divide our attention between two different tasks. Thus, it is possible that age-related difference in performance would emerge in a divided attention situation even after stimulus levels had been adjusted for individual differences in hearing. In two experiments we tested younger and older adults' ability to extract and remember information from connected discourse in the presence of a distracting secondary task.

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Published

1998-09-01

How to Cite

1.
Murphy DR, Daneman M, Schneider BA. Influence of a secondary task on the understanding of continuous discourse by younger and older adults. Canadian Acoustics [Internet]. 1998 Sep. 1 [cited 2021 Oct. 28];26(3):94-5. Available from: https://jcaa.caa-aca.ca/index.php/jcaa/article/view/1174

Issue

Section

Proceedings of the Acoustics Week in Canada