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ERIC Number: EJ1055868
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Mar
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 99
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
Development of Auditory Selective Attention: Why Children Struggle to Hear in Noisy Environments
Jones, Pete R.; Moore, David R.; Amitay, Sygal
Developmental Psychology, v51 n3 p353-369 Mar 2015
Children's hearing deteriorates markedly in the presence of unpredictable noise. To explore why, 187 school-age children (4-11 years) and 15 adults performed a tone-in-noise detection task, in which the masking noise varied randomly between every presentation. Selective attention was evaluated by measuring the degree to which listeners were influenced by (i.e., gave weight to) each spectral region of the stimulus. Psychometric fits were also used to estimate levels of internal noise and bias. Levels of masking were found to decrease with age, becoming adult-like by 9-11 years. This change was explained by improvements in selective attention alone, with older listeners better able to ignore noise similar in frequency to the target. Consistent with this, age-related differences in masking were abolished when the noise was made more distant in frequency to the target. This work offers novel evidence that improvements in selective attention are critical for the normal development of auditory judgments.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Nottingham)