Can age related declines in sensory processing alter the nature of multisensory integration in the presence ofenergeticand informational masking?

M. Avivi-Reich, K. Puka, B.A. Schneider


A study was conducted to address the possible effects of age and type of masker on auditory visual speech perception. Twenty-four younger and 24 older adults with normal hearing and normal or corrected vision participated in these experiments. The participants were asked to repeat semantically anomalous target sentences with 3 keywords spoken by a female talker. Each masker type and condition combination was played at four Signal to Noise Ratios (SNR) levels, and for each individual, the dB SNR corresponding to his or her 50%-correct performance threshold computed from their individual psychometric functions along with the functions' slopes. The results suggest that younger and older adults have comparable thresholds in noise but that older adults have higher thresholds than younger adults when the masker is either babble or speech. An ANOVA found significant main.


Audition; Age-related; Auditory-visual; Informational masking; Multisensory integration; Normal hearing; Older adults; Psychometric function; Sensory processing

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