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Re: pitch discrimination (fwd)

To: Athanassios Protopapas <protopap@PANTEION.GR>

On frequency discrimination in normal adults:  Very good listeners can
discriminate 1000 from 1002 (0.2%). Most (80-90%) can discriminate 0.5-1.0%
changes. When I say that "virtually all"
our normal adult listeners could discriminate changes of 2-3%, of course
there were a tiny handful of people who apparently did not understand the
instructions, or for some other reason operated near chance even with
changes of more than 20%. We have informally spent some time training
listeners who could not discriminate such changes, and they have all
improved, albeit they did not improve to the level of average listeners.
(And no, we were not exaggerating when we said over 1000 listeners...we have
been giving the Test of Basic Auditory Capabilities (TBAC) to all the
subjects we see for nearly 20 years, and recently have been running large
groups on an expanded version of that test.)

But if ones concern is with comparisons between reading disabled and normal
listeners, look at

Watson, B. E. (1992) Auditory temporal acuity in normally achieving and
learning-disabled college students.  JSHR, 35, 148-156.  (she found a tiny
but statistically insignificant difference in frequency discrimination
between normal college students, reading disabled, and math disabled ones.
The reading disabled were closer to normals than the math disabled.

and at

Watson, B. E. and Miller, T. K. (1993) Auditory perception, phonological
processing, and reading ability/disability.  JSHR, 36, 850-863. In the
appendix to this article is a matrix that shows the correlation between
pitch discrimination and a large number of reading and cognitive measures,
in addition to the r with other psychoacoustic measures.  The correlations
between pitch discrim and most non-auditory measures were pretty small. But
the purpose of this article was to look for the possible association between
auditory temporal processing skills and reading disability, so very little
attention was paid to the pitch discrimination data. Nevertheless, they
provided the correlation matrix, so if there is something to be made of the
pitch data, have at it.