A Comparison of Behavioral Methods for Indexing the Auditory Processing of Temporal Fine Structure Cues

Eric C. Hoover, Brianna N. Kinney, Karen L. Bell, Frederick J. Gallun, David A. Eddins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Purpose: Growing evidence supports the inclusion of perceptual tests that quantify the processing of temporalfine structure (TFS) in clinical hearing assessment. Manytasks have been used to evaluate TFS in the laboratory thatvary greatly in the stimuli used and whether the judgmentsrequire monaural or binaural comparisons of TFS. The purposeof this study was to compare laboratory measures of TFS forinclusion in a battery of suprathreshold auditory tests. A subsetof available TFS tasks were selected on the basis of potentialclinical utility and were evaluated using metrics that focuson characteristics important for clinical use. Method: TFS measures were implemented in replication ofstudies that demonstrated clinical utility. Monaural, diotic,and dichotic measures were evaluated in 11 young listenerswith normal hearing. Measures included frequency modulation(FM) tasks, harmonic frequency shift detection, interauralphase difference (TFS–low frequency), interaural timedifference (ITD), monaural gap duration discrimination, andtone detection in noise with and without a difference ininteraural phase (N0S0, N0Sπ). Data were compared withpublished results and evaluated with metrics of consistencyand efficiency. Results: Thresholds obtained were consistent with publisheddata. There was no evidence of predictive relationshipsamong the measures consistent with a homogenous group.The most stable tasks across repeated testing were TFS–low frequency, diotic and dichotic FM, and N0Sπ. Monauraland diotic FM had the lowest normalized variance and werethe most efficient accounting for differences in total testduration, followed by ITD. Conclusions: Despite a long stimulus duration, FM tasksdominated comparisons of consistency and efficiency. Smalldifferences separated the dichotic tasks FM, ITD, and N0Sπ.Future comparisons following procedural optimization ofthe tasks will evaluate clinical efficiency in populations withimpairment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2018-2034
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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