Re: pitch discrimination (fwd) ("Chuck Watson Ph.D" )

Subject: Re: pitch discrimination (fwd)
From:    "Chuck Watson Ph.D"  <watson(at)INDIANA.EDU>
Date:    Thu, 3 Jun 1999 12:07:50 -0500

To: Athanassios Protopapas <protopap(at)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. csw

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