Effects of decreased audibility produced by high-pass maskers in younger and older adults

Pamela E. Souza*, Kelly L. Tremblay, Kumike T. Boike

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A recurring problem in aging research is separating the effects of age per se from the effects of high-frequency hearing loss. One approach is to present test stimuli in the presence of a high-pass masker to control confounding differences in high-frequency audibility across age groups. However, there is evidence that such maskers may affect older and younger listeners differently. In this study, pure-tone thresholds were measured for younger and older listeners in the presence of high-pass maskers. The age groups were carefully selected based on similar unmasked thresholds at each frequency. Thresholds were measured in quiet and in seven masker conditions. Both younger and older listeners showed increased threshold shift below the masker passband as the masker level increased. The degree of threshold shift was not greater for older versus younger listeners. Results suggest that high-pass maskers may be used to reduce high-frequency sensitivity differences between younger and older listeners without introducing differential masking effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-433
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Audiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003


  • Aging
  • Hearing loss
  • Masking
  • Threshold

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing


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