Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2005 Jun;69(6):757-69. Epub 2005 Feb 23.

Effects of otitis media with effusion on auditory temporal resolution.

Author information

  • 1University Laboratory of Physiology, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PT, UK.



There is mounting evidence to suggest that otitis media with effusion (OME) is associated with auditory processing deficits that persist beyond the resolution of the peripheral hearing loss. This study investigated the residual effects of OME on auditory temporal resolution. EXPERIMENT 1:


Experiment 1 measured detection thresholds for a brief tone presented either before (backward masking) or during (simultaneous masking) a masking noise, in 6- and 8-year-old children. Six-year-olds were selected from a prospectively studied group with a lifetime known history of OME. Eight-year-old children, with a retrospectively determined history of OME, were also recruited. All children were free of OME at the time of testing.


Regardless of OME history, 6-year-old children had similar tone thresholds on all masking tasks. In contrast, 8-year-olds with a history of recurrent OME had 18 and 4dB higher mean thresholds for the backward and simultaneous masking conditions, respectively, compared with age-matched controls. Possible explanations for these results included (i) recruitment bias, rather than OME, contributed to differences in auditory processing abilities amongst 8-year-old children, or (ii) OME impaired performance at both ages, but this was not seen in 6-year-olds due to 'ceiling' effects. EXPERIMENT 2:


To distinguish between these possibilities, Experiment 2 measured temporal resolution, using backward masking and amplitude modulation detection, in the prospectively studied group of children when they were 8 years old.


Regardless of OME history, these 8-year-olds had similar auditory temporal processing abilities. Results from Experiment 2 suggested that recruitment bias was the most likely explanation for the difference in auditory processing abilities between 8-year-old children with and without a history of OME found in Experiment 1. Consistent with previous data, associations were found between backward masking, age and cognitive ability.


There is no evidence to suggest that OME effects temporal resolution after the recovery of normal pure-tone thresholds.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center