ASA 124th Meeting New Orleans 1992 October

1aPP5. Binaural performance in children with a history of otitis media.

Joan Besing

Janet Koehnke

Christine Goulet

Dept. of Commun. Sci. and Disord., Louisiana State Univ., 163 M&DA Bldg., Baton Rouge, LA 70803

Marla Allard

Univ. of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269

Binaural performance was measured for children ages 7 to 12 with and without a history of otitis media on three tests: binaural detection, localization, and speech intelligibility. NoSo and NoS(pi) thresholds were measured for pure-tone and 1/3-octave noise targets in narrow and wideband noise maskers as a function of frequency. Localization in the horizontal plane (nine locations from -90(degrees) to +90(degrees)) was measured using short phrases. Intelligibility of monosyllabic words was assessed with the speech at 0(degrees) in quiet and in noise. Localization and speech intelligibility were measured in anechoic and reverberant environments. Results of the detection tests show smaller masking-level differences (MLDs) for children with a history of otitis media than children with no history. Localization and speech intelligibility are also generally poorer for the children with a history of otitis media. Localization for all children is independent of environment, but speech intelligibility is better in the anechoic environment. Performance for all three tests also appears to improve as a function of age. Overall, good binaural detection tends to be associated with good localization and speech intelligibility, and children with a history of otitis media have more difficulty with tasks requiring binaural interaction. [Work supported by UCRF and Sertoma Club of Baton Rouge.]