alexa Dissociations in perceptual learning revealed by adult age differences in adaptation to time-compressed speech.

Journal of Phonetics & Audiology

Author(s): Peelle JE, Wingfield A

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Abstract When presented with several time-compressed sentences, young adults' performance improves with practice. Such adaptation has not been studied in older adults. To study age-related changes in perceptual learning, the authors tested young and older adults' ability to adapt to degraded speech. First, the authors showed that older adults, when equated for starting accuracy with young adults, adapted at a rate and magnitude comparable to young adults. However, unlike young adults, older adults failed to transfer this learning to a different speech rate and did not show additional benefit when practice exceeded 20 sentences. Listeners did not adapt to speech degraded by noise, indicating that adaptation to time-compressed speech was not attributable to task familiarity. Finally, both young and older adults adapted to spectrally shifted noise-vocoded speech. The authors conclude that initial perceptual learning is comparable in young and older adults but maintenance and transfer of this learning decline with age. (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved. This article was published in J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform and referenced in Journal of Phonetics & Audiology

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