Changes in melodic perception as a function of age and lowest harmonic component

Huiwen Goy, D. Timothy Ives, Frank A. Russo, M. Kathleen Pichora-Fuller, Roy D. Patterson

Abstract


A study was conducted to investigate age differences in spectral and temporal mechanisms in pitch perception, using a melodic pitch task adapted from a earlier study. The performance of the age groups participating in the study was expected to decline with an increase in the lowest harmonic component of a complex stimulus. The performance of older adults was expected to be worse than that of younger adults despite the presence of harmonics. The reduction in performance with increases in the lowest harmonic component was expected to be smaller for older than for young adults. Older adults with better audiograms were selected to match younger adults' hearing thresholds as closely as possible. Listeners heard two consecutive four-note melodies with the tonic note of the melodic scale twice before each melody in each trial.

Keywords


Age differences; Age groups; Harmonic components; Hearing threshold; Older adults; Pitch perception

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