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J Speech Lang Hear Res. 2017 May 24;60(5):1427-1435. doi: 10.1044/2016_JSLHR-H-16-0066.

Auditory Processing of Older Adults With Probable Mild Cognitive Impairment.

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School of Aging Studies, University of South Florida, Tampa.
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of South Florida, Tampa.



Studies suggest that deficits in auditory processing predict cognitive decline and dementia, but those studies included limited measures of auditory processing. The purpose of this study was to compare older adults with and without probable mild cognitive impairment (MCI) across two domains of auditory processing (auditory performance in competing acoustic signals and temporal aspects of audition).


The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (Nasreddine et al., 2005) was used to classify participants as with or without probable MCI. In this cross-sectional study, participants (n = 79) completed 4 measures of auditory processing: Synthetic Sentence Identification with Ipsilateral Competing Message (Gates, Beiser, Rees, D'Agostino, & Wolf, 2002), Dichotic Sentence Identification (Fifer, Jerger, Berlin, Tobey, & Campbell, 1983), Adaptive Tests of Temporal Resolution (ATTR; Lister & Roberts, 2006; across-channel and within-channel subtests), and time-compressed speech (Wilson, 1993; Wilson, Preece, Salamon, Sperry, & Bornstein, 1994). Audiometry was also conducted.


Those with probable MCI had significantly poorer performance than those without MCI on Synthetic Sentence Identification with Ipsilateral Competing Message, Dichotic Sentence Identification, and the ATTR within-channel subtest. No group differences were found for time-compressed speech, ATTR across-channel, or audiometric measures.


Older adults with cognitive impairment not only have difficulty with competing acoustic signals but may also show poor temporal processing. The profile of auditory processing deficits among older adults with cognitive impairment may include multiple domains.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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