The effects of aging and musicianship on the use of auditory streaming cues

Sarah A. Sauvé*, Jeremy Marozeau, Benjamin Rich Zendel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Auditory stream segregation, or separating sounds into their respective sources and tracking them over time, is a fundamental auditory ability. Previous research has separately explored the impacts of aging and musicianship on the ability to separate and follow auditory streams. The current study evaluated the simultaneous effects of age and musicianship on auditory streaming induced by three physical features: intensity, spectral envelope and temporal envelope. In the first study, older and younger musicians and non-musicians with normal hearing identified deviants in a four-note melody interleaved with distractors that were more or less similar to the melody in terms of intensity, spectral envelope and temporal envelope. In the second study, older and younger musicians and non-musicians participated in a dissimilarity rating paradigm with pairs of melodies that differed along the same three features. Results suggested that auditory streaming skills are maintained in older adults but that older adults rely on intensity more than younger adults while musicianship is associated with increased sensitivity to spectral and temporal envelope, acoustic features that are typically less effective for stream segregation, particularly in older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0274631
JournalPLOS ONE
Volume17
Issue number9
Number of pages23
ISSN1932-6203
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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