ASA 129th Meeting - Washington, DC - 1995 May 30 .. Jun 06

1aSC13. The relationship between the discriminability of formant transitions and certain cognitive measures.

Thomas Carrell

Barkley Ctr., Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68583-0738

Nina Kraus

Terry McGee

Steven Zecker

Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL 60208

This work concerns the relationship between two measures of auditory processing and several measures of cognitive abilities. The discriminabilities of formant transitions in synthesized consonant--vowel syllables were collected from over 100 children aged 7--11. Specifically, the discriminabilities of the F[sub 3] onset frequencies were measured in a set of stimuli which ranged perceptually from /d(open aye)/ from /g(open aye)/. Also, the discriminabilities of the onset transition durations of F[sub 1], F[sub 2], and F[sub 3] were measured in stimuli which ranged perceptually from /b(open aye)/ to /w(open aye)/. A PEST adaptive tracking paradigm was employed to make these measurements. The average just noticeable difference was 101 Hz for the F[sub 3] onset frequencies and 6 ms for the F[sub 1], F[sub 2], and F[sub 3] frequency ramps. A battery of tests of cognitive ability were administered to the same children. The cognitive ability tests revealed a wide range of scores in the subjects tested. A correlational analysis of these data indicated that better onset frequency discriminability was significantly correlated with higher scores on the reading subtests, whereas better scores on transition duration tasks were not significantly correlated with any of the cognitive ability measures. It was also found that better formant onset frequency discriminability did not predict higher transition duration discriminability. That is, better /d(open aye)/ vs /g(open aye)/ discrimination did not predict better /b(open aye)/ vs /w(open aye)/ discrimination. [Work supported by NIH.]