Effects of gap position on perceptual gap detection across late childhood and adolescence.


Effects of gap position on perceptual gap detection across late childhood and adolescence.


Gay JD; Rosen MJ; Huyck JJ


Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology




The ability to detect a silent gap within a sound is critical for accurate speech perception, and gap detection has been shown to have an extended developmental trajectory. In certain conditions, the detectability of the gap decreases as the gap is placed closer to the beginning of the signal. Early in development, the detection of gaps shortly after signal onset may be especially difficult due to immaturities in the encoding and perception of rapidly changing sounds. The present study explored the development of gap detection from age 8 to 19 years, specifically when the temporal placement of the gap varied. Performance improved with age for all temporal placements of the gap, demonstrating a gradual maturation of gap detection abilities throughout adolescence. Younger adolescents did not benefit from increasing gap onset times, while older adolescents' thresholds gradually improved as gap onset time lengthened. Regardless of age, listeners learned between the two testing days but did not improve within days. Younger adolescents had poorer thresholds for the last block of testing on the second day, returning to baseline performance despite learning between days. These data support earlier studies showing that gaps are harder to detect near stimulus onset and confirm that gap detection abilities continue to mature into adolescence. The data also suggest that younger adolescents do not receive the same benefit of increasing gap onset time and respond differently to repeated testing than older adolescents and young adults.


children; human; age; development; primary auditory-cortex; acoustic startle; brain-stem response; maturation; temporal resolution; gap onset; temporal processing; frequency discrimination; informational masking; selective attention


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Gay JD; Rosen MJ; Huyck JJ, “Effects of gap position on perceptual gap detection across late childhood and adolescence.,” NEOMED Bibliography Database, accessed May 25, 2024, https://neomed.omeka.net/items/show/11149.