Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Audiology (AuD)

Department

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Advisor(s)

Lincoln C. Gray

Abstract

Introduction: Auditory training has been extensively studied and applied to training software that is currently available for children with attention, hearing, or speech/language difficulties. The extent to which training generalizes, or transfers to an untrained task, is of great theoretical value. To our knowledge, there has not been a study that examines transference to a non-sensory masking task.

Methods: 16 adults without ADHD were trained in a contralateral masking task over the course of two days, with 900 trials per day. False alarm rates, thresholds, and reaction times were measured. Pre- and post-tests of contralateral and informational masking were conducted to evaluate improvement on the untrained task following training.

Results: Training generalized to the untrained task of informational masking. The results showed that informational and contralateral thresholds significantly improved following training.

Discussion: This paper demonstrates transference of learning across two non-sensory masking tasks. This is the beginning of determining the extent of generalization and limiting distractibility in non-sensory masking, and how that may influence the development of auditory training software.

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