Aging alters the neural representation of speech cues

Kelly L. Tremblay*, Michael Piskosz, Pamela Souza

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations

Abstract

Age-related deficits in speech understanding are well documented. Because speech is a complex signal, containing time-varying acoustic cues, it is frequently hypothesized that aging adversely affects the ability to process temporal cues. This study examined the neural representation and perception of voice-onset-time, a temporal cue that distinguishes voiced /b/ from voiceless /p/ sounds. We found that older adults had more difficulty than younger listeners discriminating voice-onset contrasts. In addition, these same speech stimuli evoked abnormal neural responses in older adults. That is, compared with younger listeners, N1 and P2 long-latency auditory evoked responses were prolonged for older adults. Collectively, these results suggest speech perception difficulties described by older adults may be related to age-related changes regulating excitatory and inhibitory processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1865-1870
Number of pages6
JournalNeuroreport
Volume13
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 28 2002

Keywords

  • Auditory evoked potentials and aging
  • Auditory temporal processing and Aging
  • Speech perception and aging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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