Release from informational masking in children: Effect of multiple signal bursts

Lori J. Leibold, Angela Yarnell Bonino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This study examined the degree to which increasing the number of signal presentations provides children with a release from informational masking. Listeners were younger children (5-7 years), older children (8-10 years), and adults. Detection thresholds were measured for a sequence of repeating 50-ms bursts of a 1000-Hz pure-tone signal embedded in a sequence of 10- and 50-ms bursts of a random-frequency, two-tone masker. Masker bursts were played at an overall level of 60-dB sound pressure level in each interval of a two-interval, forced choice adaptive procedure. Performance was examined for conditions with two, four, five, and six signal bursts. Regardless of the number of signal bursts, thresholds for most children were higher than thresholds for most adults. Despite developmental effects in informational masking, however, masked threshold decreased with additional signal bursts by a similar amount for younger children, older children, and adults. The magnitude of masking release for both groups of children and for adults was inconsistent with absolute energy detection. Instead, increasing the number of signal bursts appears to aid children in the perceptual segregation of the fixed-frequency signal from the random-frequency masker as has been previously reported for adults [Kidd, G., (2003). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 114, 2835-2845].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2200-2208
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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