ASA 124th Meeting New Orleans 1992 October

3pPP8. Effect of distraction on auditory thresholds of adults in quiet and noisy backgrounds.

Vishakha W. Rawool

Commun. Disord. and Special Education, Bloomsburg Univ., Bloomsburg, PA 17815

This study investigated the effects of distraction on the auditory sensitivity of adults in quiet and noisy surroundings. Seventeen normal hearing adults in the age range of 18--30 years participated in the study. Thresholds of each subject were determined using warble tones for 0.5, 1, 2, and 4 kHz in the sound field for each of the following conditions presented randomly: quiet, quiet with distraction, noise (Speech noise, 60 dB SPL), and noise with distraction. The subjects were instructed to turn their head toward the speaker every time they heard a signal. For conditions with distraction the subjects were instructed to put a cardboard puzzle together as quickly as possible in addition to looking at the speaker when they heard the stimulus. Results indicated that for both quiet and noisy surroundings, distraction worsens the thresholds at 0.5 and 1 kHz, it has no effect at 2 kHz and the thresholds improve at 4 kHz. These effects will be discussed in reference to possible physiological mechanisms. [Research supported by the Grants for Research and Creative Projects and the Margin of Excellence Fund, Bloomsburg Univ., Bloomsburg, PA 17815.]