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J Acoust Soc Am. 2018 Aug;144(2):720. doi: 10.1121/1.5049364.

Sensorineural hearing loss impairs sensitivity but spares temporal integration for detection of frequency modulation.

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Laboratoire des Systèmes Perceptifs, Département d'Études Cognitives, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Université Paris Sciences & Lettres, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 75005 Paris, France.
Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EB, United Kingdom.


The effect of the number of modulation cycles (N) on frequency-modulation (FM) detection thresholds (FMDTs) was measured with and without interfering amplitude modulation (AM) for hearing-impaired (HI) listeners, using a 500-Hz sinusoidal carrier and FM rates of 2 and 20 Hz. The data were compared with FMDTs for normal-hearing (NH) listeners and AM detection thresholds (AMDTs) for NH and HI listeners [Wallaert, Moore, and Lorenzi (2016). J. Acoust. Soc. 139, 3088-3096; Wallaert, Moore, Ewert, and Lorenzi (2017). J. Acoust. Soc. 141, 971-980]. FMDTs were higher for HI than for NH listeners, but the effect of increasing N was similar across groups. In contrast, AMDTs were lower and the effect of increasing N was greater for HI listeners than for NH listeners. A model of temporal-envelope processing based on a modulation filter-bank and a template-matching decision strategy accounted better for the FMDTs at 20 Hz than at 2 Hz for young NH listeners and predicted greater temporal integration of FM than observed for all groups. These results suggest that different mechanisms underlie AM and FM detection at low rates and that hearing loss impairs FM-detection mechanisms, but preserves the memory and decision processes responsible for temporal integration of FM.


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