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].
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics