Aging and Spectro-Temporal Integration of Speech

John H. Grose, Heather L. Porter, Emily Buss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of age on the spectro-temporal integration of speech. The hypothesis was that the integration of speech fragments distributed over frequency, time, and ear of presentation is reduced in older listeners - even for those with good audiometric hearing. Younger, middle-aged, and older listeners (10 per group) with good audiometric hearing participated. They were each tested under seven conditions that encompassed combinations of spectral, temporal, and binaural integration. Sentences were filtered into two bands centered at 500 Hz and 2500 Hz, with criterion bandwidth tailored for each participant. In some conditions, the speech bands were individually square wave interrupted at a rate of 10 Hz. Configurations of uninterrupted, synchronously interrupted, and asynchronously interrupted frequency bands were constructed that constituted speech fragments distributed across frequency, time, and ear of presentation. The over-arching finding was that, for most configurations, performance was not differentially affected by listener age. Although speech intelligibility varied across condition, there was no evidence of performance deficits in older listeners in any condition. This study indicates that age, per se, does not necessarily undermine the ability to integrate fragments of speech dispersed across frequency and time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalTrends in Hearing
StatePublished - Jan 18 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • aging
  • auditory integration
  • spectro-temporal processing
  • speech perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Speech and Hearing


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