Younger and older adults demonstrate similar ability to focus attention when listening to signals in noise

Dana R. Murphy, Filippo Speranza, Giampaolo Moraglia, Bruce Schneider


Younger and older adults demonstrate a similar ability to focus attention in order to improve their ability to detect pure tones presented in noise. Both age groups show a very narrow band of attentional focus to improve detection. The differences between the age groups in terms of inhibitory functioning are either smaller than expected or that the inhibitory functioning of the older adults remains intact for such simple auditory stimuli. Complicated stimuli do not lend themselves to the same sort of selective analysis in noisy situations. Older adults, despite their ability to narrowly focus attention when processing simple stimuli find it difficult to narrow their focus when complex stimuli are employed and multiple frequency regions are monitored.


Acoustic noise; Interpolation; Signal detection; Cognitive aging; Low intensity signals; Signal frequencies

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