Objective evidence of temporal processing deficits in older adults: Temporal processing deficits in older listeners

Samira Anderson, Hanin Karawani

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The older listener's ability to understand speech in challenging environments may be affected by impaired temporal processing. This review summarizes objective evidence of degraded temporal processing from studies that have used the auditory brainstem response, auditory steady-state response, the envelope- or frequency-following response, cortical auditory-evoked potentials, and neural tracking of continuous speech. Studies have revealed delayed latencies and reduced amplitudes/phase locking in subcortical responses in older vs. younger listeners, in contrast to enhanced amplitudes of cortical responses in older listeners. Reconstruction accuracy of responses to continuous speech (e.g., cortical envelope tracking) shows over-representation in older listeners. Hearing loss is a factor in many of these studies, even though the listeners would be considered to have clinically normal hearing thresholds. Overall, the ability to draw definitive conclusions regarding these studies is limited by the use of multiple stimulus conditions, small sample sizes, and lack of replication. Nevertheless, these objective measures suggest a need to incorporate new clinical measures to provide a more comprehensive assessment of the listener's speech understanding ability, but more work is needed to determine the most efficacious measure for clinical use.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108053
JournalHearing Research
StatePublished - Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020


  • Aging
  • Auditory brainstem response
  • Auditory steady-state response
  • Cortical auditory-evoked potential
  • Envelope tracking
  • Frequency-following response
  • Hearing impairment
  • Magnetoencephalography
  • Temporal processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems


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