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J Acoust Soc Am. 1987 May;81(5):1546-56.

Gap detection and masking in hearing-impaired and normal-hearing subjects.


Subjects with cochlear impairments often show reduced temporal resolution as measured in gap-detection tasks. The primary goals of these experiments were: to assess the extent to which the enlarged gap thresholds can be explained by elevations in absolute threshold; and to determine whether the large gap thresholds can be explained by the same processes that lead to a slower-than-normal recovery from forward masking. In experiment I gap thresholds were measured for nine unilaterally and eight bilaterally impaired subjects, using bandlimited noise stimuli centered at 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 kHz. Gap thresholds were usually larger for the impaired ears, even when the comparisons were made at equal sensation levels (SLs). Gap thresholds tended to increase with increasing absolute threshold, but the scatter of gap thresholds was large for a given degree of hearing loss. In experiment II threshold was measured as a function of the delay between the onset of a 210-ms masker and the onset of a 10-ms signal in both simultaneous- and forward-masking conditions. The signal frequency was equal to the center frequency of the bandlimited noise masker, which was 0.5, 1.0, or 2.0 kHz. Five subjects with unilateral cochlear impairments, two subjects with bilateral impairments, and two normal subjects were tested. The rate of recovery from forward masking, particularly the initial rate, was usually slower for the impaired ears, even when the maskers were presented at equal SLs. Large gap thresholds tended to be associated with slow rates of recovery from forward masking.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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