A Comparison of Behavioral Methods for Indexing the Auditory Processing of Temporal Fine Structure Cues

Eric C. Hoover, Brianna N. Kinney, Karen L. Bell, Frederick Gallun, David A. Eddins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose Growing evidence supports the inclusion of perceptual tests that quantify the processing of temporal fine structure (TFS) in clinical hearing assessment. Many tasks have been used to evaluate TFS in the laboratory that vary greatly in the stimuli used and whether the judgments require monaural or binaural comparisons of TFS. The purpose of this study was to compare laboratory measures of TFS for inclusion in a battery of suprathreshold auditory tests. A subset of available TFS tasks were selected on the basis of potential clinical utility and were evaluated using metrics that focus on characteristics important for clinical use. Method TFS measures were implemented in replication of studies that demonstrated clinical utility. Monaural, diotic, and dichotic measures were evaluated in 11 young listeners with normal hearing. Measures included frequency modulation (FM) tasks, harmonic frequency shift detection, interaural phase difference (TFS-low frequency), interaural time difference (ITD), monaural gap duration discrimination, and tone detection in noise with and without a difference in interaural phase (N0S0, N0Sπ). Data were compared with published results and evaluated with metrics of consistency and efficiency. Results Thresholds obtained were consistent with published data. There was no evidence of predictive relationships among the measures consistent with a homogenous group. The most stable tasks across repeated testing were TFS-low frequency, diotic and dichotic FM, and N0Sπ. Monaural and diotic FM had the lowest normalized variance and were the most efficient accounting for differences in total test duration, followed by ITD. Conclusions Despite a long stimulus duration, FM tasks dominated comparisons of consistency and efficiency. Small differences separated the dichotic tasks FM, ITD, and N0Sπ. Future comparisons following procedural optimization of the tasks will evaluate clinical efficiency in populations with impairment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2018-2034
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of speech, language, and hearing research : JSLHR
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 19 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing

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