Detection and identification of monaural and binaural pitch contours in dyslexic listeners

Sébastien Santurette, Hanne Poelmans, Heleen Luts, Pol Ghesquière, Jan Wouters, Torsten Dau

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The use of binaural pitch stimuli to test for the presence of binaural auditory impairment in reading-disabled subjects has so far led to contradictory outcomes. While some studies found that a majority of dyslexic subjects was unable to perceive binaural pitch, others obtained a clear response of dyslexic listeners to Huggins' pitch (HP). The present study clarified whether impaired binaural pitch perception is found in dyslexia. Results from a pitch contour identification test, performed in 31 dyslexic listeners and 31 matched controls, clearly showed that dyslexics perceived HP as well as the controls. Both groups also showed comparable results with a similar-sounding, but monaurally detectable, pitch-evoking stimulus. However, nine of the dyslexic subjects were found to have difficulty identifying pitch contours both in the binaural and the monaural conditions. The ability of subjects to correctly identify pitch contours was found to be significantly correlated to measures of frequency discrimination. This correlation may be attributed to the similarity of the experimental tasks and probably reflects impaired cognitive mechanisms related to auditory memory or auditory attention rather than impaired low-level auditory processing per se.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJ A R O
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)515-524
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Frequency discrimination
  • Binaural processing
  • Dyslexia
  • Pitch perception


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