Title

The binaural middle latency response in noise (BMIN): The influence of age-related changes in (central) auditory processing

Date of Completion

January 2009

Keywords

Health Sciences, Audiology

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

Previous research has shown that the binaural middle latency response in noise (BMIN) is a reliable electrophysiological measure of binaural hearing in noise in the normal hearing population (Weihing & Musiek, 2008). The present investigation expanded upon this research by providing validity data for this protocol. Specifically, indices of binaural enhancement (BE) and binaural interaction (BI) were obtained in quiet and in noise for a sample of younger, middle-aged, and older adults. Given that binaural hearing in noise is known to become poorer with age due to changes in the central auditory system, it was expected that the BMIN indices would be able to differentiate the three groups in this regard. Results indicated that, although all three groups showed BE and BI in quiet and noise, the degree of this advantage was statistically larger for the younger group. Additionally, specific patterns of results could be identified that discriminated performance of the middle-aged adults from that of the older adults. Taken as whole, this research represents an important step forward in establishing the BMIN as useful in the diagnosis of (central) auditory processing disorders. ^