Objective: The purpose of the present study was to investigate the value of a new gap detection procedure called Gaps-In-Noise (GIN) for assessment of temporal resolution in a clinical population.
Design: The test consists of 0 to 3 silent intervals ranging from 2 to 20 msec embedded in 6-sec segments of white noise. The location, number, and duration of the gaps per noise segment vary throughout the test for a total of 60 gaps presented in each of four lists. The GIN procedure was administered to 50 normal-hearing listeners (group I) and 18 subjects with confirmed neurological involvement of the central auditory nervous system (group II).
Results: Results showed mean approximated gap detection thresholds of 4.8 msec for the left ear and 4.9 msec for the right ear for group I. In comparison, results for group II demonstrated a statistically significant increase in gap detection thresholds, with approximated thresholds of 7.8 msec and 8.5 msec being noted for the left and right ears, respectively. Significant mean differences were also observed in the overall performance scores (i.e., the identification of the presence of the gaps within the noise segments) of the two groups of subjects. Finally, psychometric functions, although similar for short and long duration gaps, were highly different for gaps in the 4- to 10-msec range for the two groups.
Conclusions: A variety of psychoacoustic procedures are available to assess temporal resolution; however, the clinical use of these procedures is minimal at best. Results of the present study show that the GIN test holds promise as a clinically useful tool in the assessment of temporal resolution in the clinical arena.