Age-related changes in temporal resolution: envelope and intensity effects

Can J Exp Psychol. 1998 Dec;52(4):184-91. doi: 10.1037/h0087291.


Gap-detection thresholds were determined for 10 younger and 10 older adults at two sensation levels (40 and 60 dB SL) for tone pips with Gaussian amplitude envelopes whose standard deviations were 0.5, 1, 1.5, and 2 ms. Gap-detection thresholds were larger for the older participants under all conditions. For all participants, gap-detection thresholds increased with the standard deviation of the Gaussian amplitude envelope, were relatively independent of sensation level, and were independent of the degree of hearing loss. Because spectral splatter decreases with increasing standard deviation of the Gaussian amplitude envelope, the age-related differences in gap-detection cannot be attributed to differences between how young and old listeners are affected by off-frequency cues. Furthermore, the consistent age difference in gap-detection at all amplitude envelope standard deviations was shown to be incompatible with the hypothesis that temporal integration time is longer for older listeners.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Auditory Perception / physiology*
  • Auditory Threshold / physiology*
  • Hearing / physiology
  • Humans
  • Normal Distribution
  • Time Factors