Age-related differences in auditory gap detection predicted by cognitive processing speed

Changes in auditory temporal processing are thought to be one reason why older adults have difficulty recognizing speech, especially in difficult listening conditions. Dr. Kelly Harris reports in the journal Hearing Research that changes in auditory temporal processing can be explained, in part, by changes in cognitive processing speed. Processing speed is the rate at which people can perform behavioral tasks and has been linked to brain regions important for directing attention. One potential implication of Dr. Harris’ findings is that age-related changes in speech recognition occur, in so far as they are related to auditory temporal processing, because of changes in brain regions important for directing attention.