Auditory temporal order discrimination and backward recognition masking in adults with dyslexia.
Griffiths YM., Hill NI., Bailey PJ., Snowling MJ.
The ability of 20 adult dyslexic readers to extract frequency information from successive tone pairs was compared with that of IQ-matched controls using temporal order discrimination and auditory backward recognition masking (ABRM) tasks. In both paradigms, the interstimulus interval (ISI) between tones in a pair was either short (20 ms) or long (200 ms). Temporal order discrimination was better for both groups of listeners at long than at short ISIs, but no group differences in performance were observed at either ISI. Performance on the ABRM task was also better at long than at short ISIs and was influenced by variability in masker frequency and by the spectral proximity of target and masker. The only significant group difference was found in one condition of the ABRM task when the target-masker interval was 200 ms, but this difference was not reliable when the measure was of optimal performance. Moderate correlations were observed between auditory thresholds and phonological skill for the sample as a whole and within the dyslexic and control groups. However, although a small subgroup of dyslexic listeners with poor phonology was characterized by elevated thresholds across the auditory tasks, evidence for an association between auditory and phonological processing skills was weakened by the finding of a subgroup of control listeners with poor auditory processing and normal phonological processing skills.